Tuesday 20 July 2021

Droitwich - 15 June

Following my wet and windy visit in May, I returned to the Brine Pit hide near Droitwich for another attempt at the Little Owls. However due to heavy demand, the next available opportunity wasn't until mid June, by which time the Owlets had emerged from the nest hole. They were even reported to be coming onto the perches in front of the hide...

The weather was the complete opposite this time, with full sun virtually all day. This posed its own challenges with harsh lighting and backlit images on the provided artificial perches, given the hide faces south or south east. However by setting up some of my own, using a handy pile of cut branches beneath a tree over on the north side of the field, I was able to get some alternative angles and more interesting natural looking shots (in my view). 

I even took one of my branches round the back of the hide, so the sun was behind me from mid morning to mid afternoon. The only way to get photos here was by shooting through the partially open hide door, but that didn't seem to bother the female much. Amazingly the bird took to this new location pretty quickly, with suitable inducement!

There were reported to be up to 4 owlets around, with two having moved away from the nest hole. I never had them on the perches, unlike some photographers including just the day before, but I noticed two briefly at the entrance once. 

For a gallery of all the photos from this session, click here.

Alternatively, click on any of the captions to enlarge

On the perch behind the hide

Same perch behind the hide

In flight behind the hide

Strongly side-lit in the morning using a natural perch added to the provided "structure"

Same perch but with the late afternoon sun lighting the front of the bird

Another added perch, in the afternoon

Owlet at the entrance to the nest hole

Friday 9 July 2021

Otmoor - 8 July

Eventually, after a three hour wait I got some relatively distant shots of the Bittern in flight that has been showing from time to time from the bridleway:

As usual, click on the captions for larger images

Bittern with wings raised (c) Stephen Burch

Bittern with wings lowered (c) Stephen Burch