Finally some luck!

02nd February 2014
2013 was a tail of two halves for me, the start was great and very productive with plenty of trips and photographic opportunities but the second half was terrible. I've hardly taken an image since the end of September and it wasn't for the lack of trying.

I've spent a lot of time and money on my feeding station but the mild, wet and windy weather we've been having has kept the numbers of birds visiting down, even the migrant birds like Redwing and Fieldfare that are normally about in good numbers seem to be scarce.
With hardly anything local happening I decided to visit my Owl sites but I wasn't holding out much hope with this being a success, last year was poor and according to the The Barn Owl Trust the combination of a very harsh winter and a very wet spring had reduced the Barn Owl numbers by a third,hopefully this wouldn't be the case for my Owls

On my first trip I saw 6 different birds and managed to photograph 4 of them, this was over a large area but it was a good sign that my Owls hadn't done that badly and this gave me the encouragement to put in the hours.
After several more trips and some good sightings with a few images it all came good for me one morning when I came across a couple of Barn Owls out hunting. I pulled up and spent the next few hours watching and photographing these amazing birds, using the car as a hide they came incredibly close at times, so close I couldn't focus on them.
For me this is what all the early starts,miles and money spent are for, moments like this which will stay in the memory for years to come and which help to keep me motivated...

This bird was out hunting at first light so it was a good test for the 1DX high iso capabilities..




Another first light image, I sat with this bird for a while and eventually shot some film footage after getting a few stills.



Onto some flight shots now, the two I spent a few hours with I shot over 16gig worth of images which for me is unheard of when photographing Barn Owls.









They came so close at times I had to just sit and watch, which was really frustrating but that's the price you pay for a fixed focal length..











I was also lucky enough to get some images of the Owls diving into the long grass after the Voles..







The poor Voles don't stand a chance really...







I then turned my attention to getting some silhouette images of the Owls hunting and as I was waiting for the the sun to set I came across this Barn Owl hunting from the fence posts.



The light was fading fast so I grabbed a few stills,shot a bit of film footage of it on the post before getting into position for some silhouette images..





Here's some of the footage I took of the Barn Owls hunting from the fence posts..



Thanks for looking..