Today, I spent a couple of hours with my good friend and fellow wildlife photographer, Pete Walkden. In late in 2015 he was granted access, by a local landowner, to photograph the wildlife on his farm. It was the little owls on site that particularly interested Pete and, since then, he has invested a considerable amount of time at the site. During this time, Pete has gained the trust of the owls and they will now land on perches and the barn roof nearby.
I have been following Pete’s progress with this site and he has kept me up to date with how it has been going and has been sharing his growing number of images with me. Today, I finally managed to join him there!
A drizzly day greeted us, but the light was not too bad, despite the varying degrees of rain, and the Canon 7D II let me push the ISO up to around 1600, to get a decent shutter speed. Using Pete’s car as a hide was great as we sat in relative comfort!
It was not long before the male was visible in the oak tree.
The juvenile then flew down onto the barn, which is covered in a rather attractive lichen. The male also appeared on here a number of times…
Comical little characters, these owls are so expressive and remind me of a rather grumpy army General!
Pete has set up series of perches for them and, with the rain falling, I tried to capture some shots where you could see it falling…. the dark background helped…
Another perch gave a lovely pink background with the thistle flowers…
The juvenile often disappeared behind the perches, popping up in a rather comical way, giving me the chance to capture something a little different!
I then added some fir tree branches to one of their perches for a bit of variation to the shots. A little unsure at first, they took a coupe of visits, before they settled and I got the shots I had envisaged…
I had a wonderful time and it is very special when wild birds chose to spend time with you in this way and to trust you enough to come close.
You can see more of my pictures on my Flickr Album.
Pete is now taking clients onto this site. If you are interested and would like to try your hand at spending some time with these wonderful birds, then take a look at his webpage and take a look at the great shots he has captured. You can book to spend a whole day or just a half day on site.
You can also contact him via:Email:firstname.lastname@example.orgPhone:07879665775
I would thoroughly recommend it! My shots were taken with a Canon 7D MkII and a 400mm lens.
I am now on the look out for some more perches, so I can pop back again… maybe in different weather conditions!