Sunday, 31 May 2015

Owls and raptors special

Don't worry, I'm still here!

Real life has meant that I've been unable to get out for the past month, but I'm back with lots of new photos. No new birds just yet (well there's one but it's for next update) but I did have an opportunity to go on a photoshoot.

I know not everyone is keen on taking photos of captive birds, but it gave me an opportunity to get close to some magnificent creatures and hopefully improve my photography in the process. I visited the New Forest as part of a collaboration between Captivelight and Liberty's Owl, Raptor And Reptiles Centre.

I had a great day, and met some nice people, but it's wasn't perfect. The biggest issue was my lens. In such close confines I found myself having to stand a good 15-20 feet from the action, as a result other photographers would simply stand in front of me, meaning opportunities were lost. There were plenty there who I had a great time with, but as is often the case a few individuals ruined it for others.

I would recommend going to one of these events as you certainly get your money's worth. Big thanks to Miles for organising it and Matt the handler who has a really interesting job.

Here's the birds that were on display.

Barn Owl
This fellow was out for well over an hour and didn't seem at all fazed by all the attention he was getting. It's a stunning bird which I'd dearly love to see in the wild.

This is probably my favourite shot. Really happy with the composition.

I've seen plenty of Kestrel, but never up close. While they are indeed tiny birds, they have impressive wingspans, meaning I was too close to get them fully outspread. Oh well, always next time :)

Tawny Owl
Another bird I'd love to see in the wild. Despite their cute appearance it's easy to forget how efficient predators like Tawny Owls are.

Another common bird of prey I've seen hundreds of times. It looks completely different when you get up close and personal mind.

I've got a few more birds to cover but I'm still processing all the images. I will leave you with this rather lovely shot of a Peregrine Falcon, which is currently proving to be quite popular on Flickr with over 6,000 views!