The Village Owl

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The village sign depicts an Owl

It was 28 years ago we moved to our village.  At the bottom of the rear garden were grazing meadows criss-crossed by ditches.  Early morning and late afternoon the meadows were graced by a pair of hunting Barn Owls.  We could sit in the conservatory and watch them.  Sadly the landowner decided to plant this grassland with native hardwood trees.  This is now woodland and the Owls moved on.  Happily there are many more meadows around the village.  The field opposite our property has been left fallow for several years, turning it into perfect Barn Owl hunting ground.

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Barn Owl the evening ghost

Quite often now we see these wonderful creatures floating and flitting like huge moths, searching for mice and voles.  Luckily I have managed to get a couple of passable images despite the poor light, having to boost the iso to over 1,000 to try and get a half decent shutter speed.

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A close pass

Catch a glimpse of a Barn Owl at night in your car headlights or hear it’s eerie screeching call from a churchyard and it is easy to see how ghost stories of old came about.  These are superb birds, silent in flight due to special feathering, the facial disc is shaped to direct the slightest sound to it’s off-set ears enabling it to hear in 3d and pinpoint it’s prey, then it will hover and pounce.  Barn Owls will suffer badly in very cold weather.  We were fortunate that the recent Arctic blast lasted only a few days, they are back out hunting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32 thoughts on “The Village Owl

    1. Hi Ark, I used my Nikon D5300 with a Tamron 70-300mm vr lens, settings iso 1,000, f8 the dark background was 1/640 sec the sky shot 1/1250 sec. The images were cropped, lightened and contrast increased in Nikon Capture NX-D due to poor lighting conditions.

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      1. Thank you … I shall take note. I need to practice a lot more with manual and the ISO settings.
        I showed my missus the owl shots and she said. They are wonderful.
        I said to her I was going to ask you for all the details and she said with a grin: ”Remember, sweetheart, there is also photo shop.”

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    1. Many thanks Michael, just checked on google and you get Barn Owls in BC on the coast south of Vancouver, and what about the Great Grey Owl of the forests? To be fair most Owls are very difficult to observe being mostly nocturnal.

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    1. Thanks Camilla, I think the Long Eared Owl is the hardest to see, being nocturnal, I’ve only ever seen them roosting in bushes near the coast (autumn migrants) We do get Little Owl & Tawny Owl in the village as well.

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    1. It’s lovely to see the owls Tanja, there were plans to turn the old farm buildings they inhabit into a house, we objected and the plans have been withdrawn but a survey said there was no sign of them being there!

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