In Dusk We Trust - Some Owling in Co.Durham, North East England, Great Britain
Leucistic Little Owl image copyright Hilary Chambers, Durham.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Daylight hunting Long-eared

Our County Long-eared population is well known, and in several parts well studied for decades.

During the breeding season we routinely see them out & about, active in good light, even so far as hunting in the midday sunshine, following a wet night.

Whilst in awe of these marvellous birds, familiarity does creep in & perhaps we are somewhat lazy knowing we have a full quarter of a year to see them floating about in daylight
( as a rule mid May to mid/late August ).

However the rest of the year is a different matter....
We may be lucky enough to see a migrant come in off the North Sea at Dawdon or Hartlepool or a male arcing about in a Springtime display flight, other than that chances to observe flying birds are few & far between.

Winter Daylight hunting Long-eareds are at a premium here - personally i can recall no more than a dozen occasions where ive seen such activity in over 2 decades.

Below is a series of phenomenal images taken recently in North East England by Mr D.Johnson .
(  D.Johnson website - as if you needed a reminder !)

These are of a very accommodating winter hunting Asio otus.
A just reward for many hours dedication, patience & fieldcraft.

Enjoy !

this ones my favourite !

and just a few more ;-)     :-

and we thought we'd all done well with our Shortie pics !

( hopefully Mr Johnson will be resting on his laurels for a while & be giving us mere mortals a look in ;-)  )


Rid said...

Well I've looked high and low for any signs of LEO breeding since my sighting earlier in the year.......nothing!!!! You are very lucky having so many Stevie, and yes I agree these daytime hunting images are something else!

MalR said...

Wow! It's easy to become blase about bird photography now that so many people are doing it, but those pictures are really exceptional. Proof that it's not just a matter of having the "best" gear, but, as you say Steve, patience and fieldcraft. Wonderful to see.


Christian said...

These are truly magnificent captures and I agree with Paul, you are very fortunate to have them hunting in the day as a regular thing. Thanks for showing these Stevie.