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Tawny Owl Chick.

on Jul 15, 2012 | General | 0 comments
I often have some side-project on the go when it comes to photographing wildlife at the moment this is focused on our resident Tawny Owls. They have a nest in a neighbouring field not far from the edge of our reserve and hunt and feed in the local area, often hunting on the edge of the farm buildings and flying back and forth across the yard. They have just had a new chick, that we have dubbed 'Squeaky' due to his constant calls for food (the book notes the call as: 'psee-ep' but to my ears it sounds not far off a dogs squeaky toy). On a good evening Squeaky can squeak quite happily all night. It's quite possible that this could be annoying but luckily (perhaps driven by my interest) I am finding watching this chick as he rapidly grows quite enjoyable.

One of his favourite tricks is to sit on one of the two nearby telegraph poles calling to his hard working parents for food, who fly back and forth taking it in turns to bring him voles and the like out of the fields, they seem to be very effective hunters because they will regularly be back with snacks. He is quite happy at the top of his pole and I can stand right underneath without him being the slightest bit bothered (he is quite some way up). I would dearly love to get a decent photograph of him but this is proving difficult: One he sits in darkness above the street lamp which from below helps obscure him, only being illuminated by the occasional passing car. Two at the moment (I change cameras around a lot) I don't have a strong telephoto lens!

Below is my best attempt to date:
Tawny Owl Chick
After some very frustrating efforts last week I could stand no longer and decided to purchase a fixed aperture 400mm lens just to photograph Squeaky. However the race is now on as Tawny Owls fledge in 32 to 37 days; I have not kept count from the start but it must be getting close and with the bank holiday in the way will I get that photo of Squeaky!? However at the moment as I write this, if I stop typing and listen....yes Squeaky is still squeaking!

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