What you lookin' at?!?!
With an afternoon to spare and no where to go, and Josh in Norfolk, I wasn't overly sure where to go today, but the Long-eared Owl spot I visited last Thursday seemed worth a shot for insects more than anything. I wasn't really expecting any more views of the Owls and was some what surprised to find three chicks calling in the heat of the day.
At first they seemed distant and I was pretty sure that they wouldn't be on show so continued to watch the local Red eyed Damselfly and Four-spotted Chaser happenings on one of the drains. Eventually we wandered half heartedly up to where the squeaking had taken place, they started up again and to our surprise we clocked a couple of orange eyes staring back at us a mere three and half metres away.
Long-eared Owl, Peterborough, 18.06.05 | © Will Bowell
After moving back a bit and enjoying the sight of a LEO out in the open I decided to take a few shots, having to move back to allow my 500mm lens to do the action. In hindsight, I should have gone straight for the small lens 'cos it was that close I only got the head in my 500mm! I blasted a couple of hand held shots before putting it on the tripod, by which time the Owl decided to flap a couple of beats and head for cover!
This is the more mature of the three and I am impressed to see how much it has moulted into more adult like plumage in the past two days! To see what it looked like two days ago click here. Still, it ain't no looker yet; as Josh put it, "the adults are sexy, the chicks are cute but these are in the spotty teenage stage". It even has the rebellious punk hair with a few quills poking through in the making of 'ears'.
We didn't see much else other than a few Scarce Chasers and a single Marsh Harrier but still a great afternoon of local action.