The Barn Owl!.. 4 minutes of Delight!

The Barn Owl!.. 4 minutes of Delight!

As mentioned in my previous post (We found a Murmuration!) my Son and I had been looking for a local Barn Owl, after getting a fleeting glimpse when we were first told about it.

We knew where it was and could observe it hunting from a distance so as not to disturb it, but after a couple of nights we just hadn’t seen it again. Then on our 3 attempt, 1 week after the first glimpse I saw it in the distance starting its hunt.

It flew along the field towards me…

…keeping a lookout on the ground

Getting close and now out of the direct sunlight direction, it changed its direction slightly, just banking a little…

…but still coming closer.

It passed my position and headed towards the back of the field that I was standing next to. Now the lighting had changed, this field had no sunlight and a backdrop of a dark trees.

Then I must have missed it dropping to the ground, as my last few shots, (that I only noticed when I got home) showed the Owl carrying a Mouse.

The lighting conditions and camera settings for these photos were a bit of a nightmare, but considering I got caught off guard a week early and shot this, I am definitely happy with my results.

I had multiple issues to contend with; it was dusk and I was fast losing light, but then I was shooting in the Suns direction at one point, so had backlighting and flare, then no sunlight and dark background. Plus, a fast moving object, that you have to track in low light conditions, all while hand holding a big lens.

So I am very happy with the results as this was a first proper attempt!

So if this is something your interested in photographing, the first thing is to find and area where it looks like they would hunt and just sit, wait and watch. Also speak to any locals as they would know if one hunts there.

As for camera settings, I was using ISO 2500, F5.6, and this gave me a shutter speed between 1/800 and 1/200.

Oh, I almost forgot, you mustn’t, blink as from it appearing, to disappearing took just 4 short minutes!

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