Friday, 18 August 2017

Barn owls with prey

The hunting skills of the adult male Barn Owl that I have been working on are second to none and Brown Rats seem to be high on the owls hit list which perhaps normally would favour voles and mice but the young owls are being very well provided for,  This in turn should help create an increased population of owls in our area for the next few breeding season,

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Barn Owl Fledgling

This morning I watched a young Barn Owl fledgling leave the safety of its barn, It was on a learning curve trying to develop its hunting skills over the rough grass field, It slowed to a clumsy hover then dived into the grass after prey that it had heard or seen but its hearing and sight were better than its flight skills and it missed the prey but proceeded in hops and flapping jumps in the long grass trying to trap its escaping prey, No joy there either so perhaps there is a bit more skill required to this self catering than it thought,  At this time one of the adult birds returned to the roof of the barn so the young fledgling decided to go looking for easier Hand-outs instead,

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Early AM on the north coast

The dawn and sunrise on the north coast was spectacular yesterday morning, The image below was taken from above Clodgy Point looking across St Ives bay towards Godrevy with dark rain clouds balancing off the silhouetted foreshore

I moved on around towards Hayle to check for any early Kingfisher sightings at Ryan's field, I was in luck and capture the next two partial silhouette portrait images before the light increased,

With improved sunlight the kingfisher started to catch fish and I noticed that this female bird had a habit of swivelling her neck through at least 180 degrees prior to swallowing her catch and I'm not quite sure why she would do this,    Any Suggestions ??

Barn Owls hunting

I revisited the Barn Owls last evening working on the principle that the previous evening had probably been two wet for them to have had much hunting success,  This seemed to be the case as the owls were busy way before the sun set creating good opportunities to capture active hunting shots,  To complete the portfolio below I have compiled a sequence of Six consecutive images into a Barn Owl hunting montage to try to demonstrate the Owls low flying silent hunting skills,  The two that I watched were successful in taking prey on four occasions during the hour that I was there,

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Beautiful Barn Owls

The Barn Owl is probably one of the UK's favourite birds and a very photogenic one to boot,  But its illusive life style also makes it a difficult subject to work with being that it is a mainly nocturnal bird of prey which hunts mostly just before sunrise and again around sunset means that photographer's encounters are generally during the fading light of dawn and dusk making exposure settings a bit of a nightmare,  The hunting time frame tends to extend during summer months when the adult birds have several hungry fledglings on their hands and this was the case with the owls that I have been working with to create the portfolio below,   Morning hunting tends to start earlier while it is dark and still finishes around sunrise so no gain there but during the evenings the hunting period can be extended into the period an hour or so before sunset creating far better exposure opportunities to take advantage of for a short spell,

The Barn Owl's graceful low and slow hunting behaviour created one of the finest wildlife spectacles that I have watched this year,  May there be may more !!

Many thanks to Martin Yelland for giving me a nodd in their direction.

Kingfisher Photography

Kingfisher photography can be a bit of a waiting game whereby known sightings location can remain unvisited for days and weeks at a time,  prey availability, mating behaviour, fatalities and a certain amount of luck can all effect the amount of time that it can take to achieve good portrait images at even well recognised locations such as the RSPB Hide at Ryan's Field Hayle,  I popped into the hide to pick up a few scallops from my friend Peter Tonkin early AM this morning and while throwing a few balls for his trusty dog Woody this  fine female Kingfisher showed on three of her favoured perch points,  Caught two small fish and was away again leaving me with a nice little portfolio and a bag of scallops for my breakfast,  Not a bad start to a Sunday morning !

Friday, 28 July 2017

Gone Fishing!

With wildlife photography subjects being a bit thin on the ground at the moment and the tourists flooding into Cornwall, My photography has taken a bit of a back seat for the school holiday period and the ' Gone Fishing' is up, with the back water of Millpool providing a lovely off the beaten track location for fishing and a bit of Kingfisher and Dragonfly spotting,  The first image below shows yours truly relaxing on the pool side with Trusty friend 'Woody' carrying out float watching duties:

The next shot show me with one of my 'Fish of the Day' poses

The following three portrait pics are of my finest three fish caught yesterday which are Perch, Golden Rudd and Roach respectively,  all very relaxed and a fine way to avoid 'The Madding Crowds'.

There are Carp in this pool that dwarf the fish species that I have caught so far so watch this space for some larger fish during the next few weeks !!