Last year, thanks to a very generous offer from a Twitter friend, I was fortunate enough to get access to some very rural private land where barn owls regularly hunt. I visited several times over the summer with my 70-200 lens, trying to learn the best times and places but mostly missing any opportunities that arose due to my wildlife photography hamfistedness; I turned up one morning, parking the car only to find Barnie on the gatepost ten feet away from me. I swear it winked at me before flying off, leaving me fumbling for my camera bag!
Nevertheless it was a wonderful spot and I enjoyed spending time there immensely, taking shots of the blue tits, rabbits, insects and lovely grasses. I can’t thank the owners Geraldine and Jonathan enough for giving me the opportunity; many happy hours spent wedged into the bottom of a hedge with my knees round my ears!
In October, just before the day length was getting unsuitable, I had some time off work, so took the opportunity to rent a longer lens from Lenses For Hire and visit as much as I could over a few consecutive days. The weather wasn’t as kind to me as I’d hoped though, with the first day being so poor for light that the resulting images were all but unusable.
But it did enable me to discover an obviously popular hunting ground and I witnessed Barnie hunting there for nearly half an hour which was a joy to watch, good photos or not! Fortunately the lighting gods were smiling on me the following day, when I got this shot and a few others I was much happier with.
I hope you enjoy looking at the results of my time spent here last summer, I’ve included various shots, the good, the bad and the ugly ;) And I hereby doff my cap to all the dedicated wildlife photographers out there…legends one and all, it’s a tough gig!
On a side note, if you want to try a lens out, give Lenses For Hire a try, I found them a joy to deal with and got brilliant service