Parklife - Little Owls

by Andrew Wakefield March. 07, 2017 1780 views

Essex Little Owls show their character during an early spring encounter in the Park

The photosession turned into a little owl peep-show

When I heard through the 'grapevine' that we had little owls on our doorstep, I was both intrigued and excited to see if I could track them down. Here really was a genuine local wildlife photographic opportunity of an iconic species, and I set myself the challenge of exploring the species in depth if I could. But where to start? and when?

In the first instance I guess most people use the interweb for reconnaisance. That gave me a few pointers to my location which was parkland, and I figured, correctly as it turned out, that this would mean that the birds would be reasonably tolerant of humans. 

A cold but bright start was forecast, and to get the best chance of of a sighting I arrived at the site at dawn when there would be few folks about. I sat on a bench and just waited, and watched. It was March, and there were no leaves out yet so the birds should be reasonably conspicuous. I looked up and to my surprise and delight, there was a little owl sitting in a nearby oak, staring right back at me.

The little owl was staring intently at me through the branches

For the next hour I got good clear views of two different birds as they sat in the branches, warming up and generally sorting themselves out in the morning sun. 

I've got my eye on you!

In fact once they were used to me they let me wander about and get different shooting angles, some backlit for atmosphere, some 'lookthrough' type shots and some that frankly looked sinister. There really are gremlins in the woods! 

There really are gremlins in the woods!

So now I know where they are I can hopefully get to know them a little better as the season progresses. Watch out for little owl blog updates!

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There are 8 comments , add yours!
Helen Hooker 2 years, 8 months ago

Wonderful portraits - you really captured their characters! Where in Essex did take these? Just wondering if it was anywhere near me! 😊

2 years, 8 months ago Edited
Andrew Wakefield Replied to Helen Hooker 2 years, 6 months ago

Hi Helen, They are my local ones in Buckhurst Hill. (inside the M25)

2 years, 6 months ago Edited
Ram Ya 2 years, 9 months ago

It may be little but those eyes are full of determination and focus.
Thanks for sharing this beautiful story.

2 years, 9 months ago Edited
Heike 2 years, 9 months ago

You took a chance and it paid off ! Really fantastic, every image is so charming.

2 years, 9 months ago Edited
Andrew Wakefield Replied to Heike 2 years, 9 months ago

Glad you like it Heike and thanks for your comment.

2 years, 9 months ago Edited
Ivan Steenkamp 2 years, 9 months ago

Awesome. I love your photos, especially #2!

2 years, 9 months ago Edited
Andrew Wakefield Replied to Ivan Steenkamp 2 years, 9 months ago

Thanks Ivan, I checked out your 365 project - looks great. I'm new to all this but I have lots of stories to tell so keep looking in!

2 years, 9 months ago Edited
Ivan Steenkamp Replied to Andrew Wakefield 2 years, 9 months ago

Ok, I will do!

2 years, 9 months ago Edited