Anyone who follows me on Twitter or watches my Flickr stream will be well aware of what I have been focusing on of late. Short-eared owls, and the half dozen or so that have chosen to winter in the picturesque Cotswolds. I have visited the site probably more times than is healthy, but I adore these owls and try to make the most of them, as they will soon disperse and it might be several years before such a convenient gathering is accessible to me again.
With any gathering of owls like this, it has brought crowds of admirers. This can be a problem in terms of getting to see the owls close up, as they tend to avoid the people in general, though their tolerance is pretty good, and they're happy to fly close or over the top, but usually prefer to perch further off. On quiet days I have been fortunate to have an owl perch up right next to me, probably because I was hidden between my car and a stone wall!