Wednesday 22 June 2011

One Good Turn Deserves A Tawny...

A couple of weeks back, I had chosen to take Dad to Brandon Marsh, with the hope of seeing kingfishers and maybe a cuckoo. It's a new location for him, and one I hope he'll go back to, especially after he encountered some of the local erm, wildlife, in the form of Andy and Max! Both of whom were entertaining as we camped in the Carlton Hide, hoping for pics. Apparently, just before we'd got there, a pair of juvenile kingfishers had been posing all over the place. Typical!

During the time sat there, one did appear, but too far for decent shots, especially after last year's feast of chances from Feckenham, at such close range. That said, Dad broke his duck on getting shots of one, albeit rather distant.

We heard a cuckoo, but that was about it, and aside from Dad getting more heron shots, we didn't fare too well, made worse by texts from friends out in Staffordshire, of a tawny owl they'd encountered. With Dad in tow, I couldn't drag him all the way up there, so sat there feeling very envious indeed.

A week is a long time to wait, but early on Saturday morning, I was off out to the spot where they'd seen it, in the hope it'd still be around. Stuart was there too to help, but it took a good 90 mins of wandering the area before the bird gave itself away, by calling out. We were on to it in a flash, but annoyingly, the views of it were obscured by branches.

It was awake though, not surprisingly, given the breezy conditions, and after much mooching, we managed some angles where we could get a shot of it, the best being when the owl itself peered around a branch, to look down at me!
As owls do, it dozed off eventually, though the wind picked up, bringing a real downpour, and the owl flew to a different tree - great to see it fly, but it managed to find an even more hidden perch, and despite more creeping around, getting neck-ache from looking upwards, we couldn't manage to get a better view point.
The rain showers seemed to get more frequent, and the light was terrible. So much for the middle of June! We all looked pretty fed up with the conditions, including the owl. And, as soon as the weather cleared up, the owl cleared off, to high in the canopy, presumably to dry off.

It was our cue to leave, but despite the mild irritation of twigs and branches being in the way, I'd bagged easily my best shots to date of a tawny.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful images, Pete.

Max Silverman said...

Stunning shots Pete.

D. Enrique Choquet de Isla said...

What a fantastic work, Pete!

You captured the beauty of this magnificent owl.

Youu blog is fantantic. I will follow your work just from now.

I am also a birdwatcher, so your blog is a paradise for me.

Warmest Greetings from Andalusia (Southern Spain).