Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Guiding Great Grey Owl

I had a great day yesterday guiding Claire from Aberdeen, via Stavanger, to the Great Grey Owl. The bird has begun attracting a steady stream of admirers and when we arrived at 10am it was already pinned down. It was initially moving around a bit but eventually seemed to have detected a rodent and spent a long time in the same area. It never went down to the ground whilst we watched although on a couple of occasions looked as though it was about to. It did change lookout post a couple of times though which gave the chance for flight photos. It was flight photos that I was hoping for and I had the camera set up on the tripod and my finger poised on the shutter button for ages waiting for the bird to make its move. I did manage to press at the right time and the photos are sharp BUT the every time the bird flew in the wrong direction and the background was messy so despite a marked improvement over previous efforts there is still room for a lot for additional improvement.

Whilst watching the owl we could hear Black and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers.
Afterwards we went looking for Bearded Tits. Despite having birds calling at probably no more than 5 meters range from with the reeds and hearing them moving about we were not able to actually see one! My first Skylarks, Reed Buntings and Curlew of the year were some compensation though.

looking wrong way

flying wrong way

not too shabby

too close

out of focus

it's easier when it is sitting still!

the whole head is like a radar dish to allow it localise the sound of rodents

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