Certain birds and wildlife are like the holy grail to some photographers, and others are common, yet rarely seen, and others are commonly seen only in certain parts of the country. For me the barn owl, is one of the latter birds, being seen commonly in pockets around the UK, but not on NI where I am most of the year sadly. But Norfolk is a hotspot and I'm lucky to spend a few weeks there every early summer, looking for these elusive evening-hunting birds of prey. My goal was to get some shots of this bird in flight, using evening light to show the beauty of its feathers and markings, and how it hunts its territory.
Barn Owls hunt mostly in the evening, but some come out sooner if the weather was poor the previous days, and feed in the long, rough meadows, or the margins left by farmers in the crop fields. These margins are so important to the barn owl, as they hide most of the creatures they live on, mice and voles. If you are lucky to be near such fields where an owl hunts, you are guaranteed some terrific views of the birds.
And if you do see one, you are likely to see it regularly as they tend to hunt the same ground over and over again.
The shots below, hopefully show the eloquence of this owl in its flight, in the setting sunlight - the colours really pop in the light and you can pick out lots of feather detail as it silently glides by:
You can predict a barn owl's appearance once you see it a few times, but once thing you can't do is make sure the weather is the same each time! Without the strong evening sun, the owl takes on a different kind of presence, still silent, but almost ghostly as the the whites glow more in the gloomy light:
About this blog:
Photographic adventures from from behind the DGPix Wildlife & Nature Photography lens!