Reports of short-eared owls in Lincolnshire and friends' images of them were making me green with envy, but I just couldn't face the drive all the way up there, so looked for more local ones. Last year I had some joy looking at the owls at Cossington Meadows, but they've not shown up there (yet). However, 3 or 4 have been seen at a site in Leicestershire, not far from Rutland, so on Saturday, after failing to see Little Grump, I headed over to the site and met up with some friends who had also had the same idea.
My goodness was it cold!! Snow on the ground and a temperature below zero, made for numb fingers and toes in no time at all. Thankfully, after about an hour of waiting, 2 shorties appeared from the undergrowth and started hunting.
Occasionally though, it locked on to the shortie and despite the gloomy light and high ISO, I managed some reasonable shots. The best of them came when the bird perched up, firstly in a tree where it peered down like a big cat, and then later on a snow-covered post, making for a very wintery shot.
When the light faded too much for my camera to get any sort of shutter speed, it was definitely time to head home and it took about 2 hours for me to get the feeling back into my numb feet! I shiver just thinking about it now.
A good trip out and a useful spot to know about for the future. I expect I'll try to go again before the owls disappear once more.