27 Nov 2013

27 Nov 13 - Close Ups Of An Owl

Been a long & tiring day as I didn't manage to get much sleep last night for reasons I'll explain later. However, the birding has been interesting today & I did manage to get some close up photos of an Owl. So pleased by that. As it was very approachable I thought I would start with this nice cropped shot.
Head Shot
Been a bit of a rush job to get some photos published this evening, before heading out to eat, so I'm sure I will find some better photos when I get the chance to view all the photos. 

I'm sure those of you not in the know, are thinking, yeah, yeah I've seen better photos of Little Owl on Brett's blog, so here is the original uncropped photo.
Hawk Owl: Zwolle, Holland
Despite a lot of photo calls to friends offering lifts to go for this cracking Hawk Owl, I only had one
 taker for a lift: Dave Gibbs, who is helpfully pointing out the bird in the photo.
Dave Gibbs: helps me get onto the bird
Here are a few more details to wet the appetite for anybody considering a Eurotunnel trip for this weekend. Our return trip for car & passengers a mere £53 return. After an easy drive of about 4.5 hours, we arrived at the town of Zwolle. Turning off a main road, in the Southern side, we entered the side streets & into a trading estate, where the crowd were quickly located. The bird was catching small rodents in a building site that was being cleared. It was sitting quite unconcerned of the people watching it or the yellow digger demolishing the foundations of a nearby building.
Hawk Owl: The bird sat 20m away from the birders & was equally unfazed by the yellow digger
Can't resist some more photos of this excellent Owl, which I can remember wanting to see ever since I started looking at my Heinzel, Fitter & Parslow Birds of Britain & Europe guide in the early 70s. Not having been to Scandinavia then this was a World tick.
Hawk Owl
Hawk Owl: Just after taking this photo, it swooped for and narrowly missed a small vole or mouse
Hawk Owl
Hawk Owl: Just to stop Peter M saying it was stuffed - lots of different head angles
Hawk Owl: Like all Owls it can turn it's head around to silly angles
All memorable twitches should have a crowd photo. So about 2/3rds of the midday day 4 crowd.
Crowd photo: Just to prove we are in Holland, there is a bike in the photo
After a quick refrshment trip, it was onto Drents-Friese Wold, a national park, about 45 minutes to the North of Zwolle. This area looked similar to some of the heathland/woodland sites in North Hampshire & was currently hosting about 30 or so Parrot Crossbills along with a few resident Black & Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers. Large flocks of Tundra Bean Geese arrive in late afternoon to roost. There was no sign of any Crossbill flocks in the late afternoon. We had the place to ourselves except for these locals. Found a good & inexpensive hotel in the nearby small town of Diever.
The local cattle: Signs advised keeping 25m from them, but they clearly can't read as they approached to 10m to see us
The local cattle: Very cute looking