Short Eared Owls.

16th December 2015
2015 has been a good breeding year for Short Eared Owls. In certain years when the rodent populations in Scandinavia have an 'Explosion' there is consequently a massive increase in food for these lovely birds. Some of these birds migrate to the UK because of the harsh winter conditions in these northern countries and end up typically on coastal marshes where the temperatures can be relatively mild and rodent populations are healthy.
This week I met up with a friend of mine on some marshland on the outskirts of Cardiff, this area has been historically a good wintering area for these Owls.
We set up behind some Camo netting strung up on poles underneath a tree and just waited for the birds to start hunting. The weather, or more particularly the light was grim to say the least, the low grey cloud prevailed all day and the light got progressively worse from the time we were there. We arrived at 13.00 and by 14.30 conditions were so bad we had to abandon our shoot. Quite disappointing because the Owls were showing off and on, however, when you are using iso speeds of over 1000 your images are going to suffer and for me it really isn't worth carrying on.
I managed a few grainy shots but at times like these it's good to just watch these birds hunting for Field Voles in what is quite a challenging environment for them.
Perhaps we will try again if the sun comes out over the Xmas holidays!!