Almost Wordless Wednesday: That Darn Owl

I don’t see him very often

Tawny Owl (3)

but when I do, the Priory tawny owl brightens up my day.

Tawny Owl

He’d be so much easier to photograph if he roosted in a less twiggy tree.

Tawny Owl (2)

But he likes his lofty, camouflaged perch and my focusing challenge just puts a twinkle in his eye.

34 thoughts on “Almost Wordless Wednesday: That Darn Owl

  1. Great photos David. Seeing such lovely creatures makes the heart sing. In Australa we have a noisy visitor, the Koel, which comes from New Guinea and Indonesia to breed and is unrelenting in its call which gradually increases in pitch and urgency. I remember hearing a sleep deprived Scottish gent enquiring from a wildlife expert on the radio as to the identity of this noisy bird. When he was told it was the Koel, he responded “Well he will be a Cinder if I get my hands on him!”

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  2. Great photographs! I tried to photograph a tawny owl in a neighbour’s tree. It was a very tall sort of pine tree and the owl kept too many branches between him and me for a good shot. He was a very noisy owl and would waken them up during the night. I don’t think you would ever see one unless you had an idea one was around. Amelia

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    • They obviously like tall, shrouded conifers, Amelia. You have described the roost tree at the Priory pretty well though it is more leylandii than pine. Even when I can hear him, I can’t always see him. He’s so well camouflaged. Dave

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  3. Lovely shots. We have an owl outside our bedroom window too, but every time I go out with torch I just see a hazy shadow flying off. Today, however, I managed to see real, wild, short eared owls which fly in the daytime. It was very exciting. I didn’t have a good enough lens to get really good shots, but I was very happy nevertheless. I posted on it if anyone wants to see.

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  4. There’s a local owl that wakes the neighbourhood up at around 1am and hoots for about 2 hours. Almost every night! I’ve never seen it despite a suspicion that it’s holding a large megaphone so should be easy to spot. I will remember Charles’ advice if ever I get a shot at it. Oh, I mean “of”, yes “of”! Focus on the eyes is good. Right between them! Not really as I love owls but would like to actually see this one. Or shut it up 😉

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    • I rather like falling asleep to the lullaby of hooting owls – though ‘mine’ calls from late morning onwards and so I tend to associate tawnies with daytime. Annoying that yours has a megaphone though. How inconsiderate. D

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    • Good advice, Charles … but he was sixty feet above my head in a waving tree, behind a screen of twigs! And he filled the single focusing square in my viewfinder. To be honest, I was pleased simply to see the fellow, let alone photograph him and focus on an eye. D

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    • At my local supermarket there were a dozen different owl species (for a photo-shoot not in the freezer) and it was great to see a tawny and various others close up. As you say, very cute. D

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      • So, it seems are bats. I have a pair of pipistrelle males nesting in the cavity wall (damn, put paid to insulation plans). I only know that (as opposed to just bats nesting …) because a local bat group told me that the females are in the church tower about a quarter of a mile away. The males nip over for a bit of hanky-panky and then come home for a rest. There will, apparently always be two – an old ‘un and a young ‘un. When old ‘un dies, young ‘un will become old ‘un and find a new young ‘un. It’s like Roman times. I have gay bats in my cavity!

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        • I know that bats have summer and winter roosts as our old house had the 3rd largest serotine bat maternity roost in southern England! But I didn’t know the sexes split up or indeed that pipistrelles are so progressive. Saves a chilly flight over to the church tower, I suppose. What you really need, John, is a belfry of your very own. D

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  5. At least you get to see yours 🙂 Ours just hoots at the side of the house just outside our bedroom, but has yet to make an appearance.

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      • Hi Esther, he would have taken a good photo of me trying to navigate through branches and not fall in a ditch whilst trying to photograph him! Good luck with the new endeavour – you haven’t finished with the boring blog though have you? Dave

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        • Hi Michelle, considering I know which tree he roosts in, he’s still devilishly difficult to see and often, though I know he’s there, I can’t see him for the life of me. Hope your’s shows himself – it’s quite magical when you see him for the first time. D

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          • I’ve only managed to see barn owls so far – one flitted across the road nearby when I was driving back from Bristol one evening last year. That was magical, as was feeding some barn owl chicks high up in a barn in Mallorca, perched atop a precariously tilting 20 feet of hay bales 🙂

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            • There are barn owls in the vicinity but sadly I’ve never seen one at the Priory. Last year there were a pair nesting in an old barn on the Downs and I spent happy time watching them hunt. Now if only I can get them to nest at the Priory! D

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