Friday, 19 December 2008

Please sit still for a while!

I had another look for the Short-eared Owl this evening, on the way back from Pegwell Bay.

I finally caught up with it at 12 minutes past three and the sun had just dipped behind a large cloud. The light was just about passable although I had to use the fastest ISO speed possible. The good thing was it was settled on a post not far from the road, and I was able park along side without it getting disturbed.

It was obviously very alert and its head was on the move constantly.

The post it was on was a good size as it showed off the feathered toes well.

He quickly looked round when I did a bit of squeaking.

The position of the post was useful as it was easy to drive back a bit, to get a good view from behind. From this angle the beak is almost completely hidden by the face feathers.

With their eyes pointing to the front owls have to turn their heads towards the object they're looking at. They have very large ears, not the feather tufts that give then their name, but large opening on the side of their heads. These are asymmetric and that enables them to know the direction and distance of any sounds they hear.

I managed to manoeuvre down a track to get a front view of the bird.

The last picture I took before it flew off hunting was at sixteen minutes passed three, so I been privileged to just under five minutes of it posing for me. I'm still hoping to bump into it earlier in the day, they do sometimes fly in early afternoon, but I think these were better than the last effort. I took a few more that can be seen here.


tut-tut said...

You certainly know your way around the camera; very impressive.

Benjamin Young said...

Awesome photos! That does it; I'm heading for the owl tomorrow!

Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

Stunning Shots Tony! SEO's are stunners!

Tony Morris said...

Hi Tut-tut,
It the Owl that's great, I just point and hope!

Candice said...

Tony, these shots are spectacular! What would you say was the size of this owl?

Candice in Brampton

Tony Morris said...

SEO's are about 15 inches, 37cm tall. Is that Brampton Ontario?

Pat said...

Great subject, fab photos.

Graham James said...

Wow, Tony. Great, great shots.

Candice said...

Yes, it is Brampton, Ontario. Do you know it?

Tony Morris said...

No, I've just been western Canada. I was interested as to where you were because Short-eared should occur there on migration and possibly winter.