Tony McLean's East Yorkshire Wildlife Diary

Wildlife photography in East Yorkshire

Friday the 13th…

Barn Owl look_2

I’d been looking forward to the weekend and now it was Friday, my office desk partially cleared, I headed off to Tophill Low for an evenings photography. I’d had a bit of luck photographing the local foxes over the past few evenings and I hoped I would be able to obtain some more photographs of this wonderful mammal. Here’s a couple of fox images from earlier in the week…

Red-Fox close up

Red Fox Stroll_2

I arrived at Tophill Low around 6:00 pm. The weather was miserable with heavy showers and poor light. I waited in my car until the worst of the rain was over and then headed off towards the hide. When I got to within a few hundred yards of my destination, I suddenly remembered that I had left my camera battery in the car, so I turned around and retraced my steps. Ho hum! Twenty minutes later, I was in the hide watching the rain and bemoaning the lack of activity. I’m not normally a superstitious person but Friday 13th seemed to be living up to its reputation.

A few Coots and Greylag geese were around but not much else. I waited patiently for an hour or so and then caught a flash of white out of the corner of my eye. Whoopee! there was a Barn Owl out hunting along the margins of the lake—not something I expected to see on such a wet evening. Would it come close to the hide? I tried to obtain a focus lock on the Owl but without much success. It was flying close to the ground and partially obscured by the dense undergrowth. Suddenly, it soared into the sky and headed directly towards me. I swung my camera around and eventually got a focus. Phew! I managed to get a sequence of several shots before the Barn Owl turned the corner and disappeared into the bushes.

I quickly viewed the results on my camera’s LCD screen and was delighted to discover that at least two of the images were perfectly sharp and with the added bonus of the Owl looking directly into the lens. The photograph at the head of this post and the one below, are the best shots from this sequence.

Barn Owl look_1

Ten minutes later, the heavy showers returned so I retreated back to my car, pleased with the results. The moral of the story—don’t let bad weather or inauspicious days deter you from your photography. The more you photograph, the luckier you get!


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4 thoughts on “Friday the 13th…

  1. Had to check out your blog to learn the story! Great blog, fabulous photos!!

  2. Thanks Gerri. Glad you liked my posts.

  3. Alan on said:

    Great photo’s Tony!Heard you’d been doing some “late shift” filming.Which hide have you been using for the fox?Must be quite exhilarating going up in a balloon,it seems to have been good light that morning you went.Champagne eh?See you soon Tony.

  4. Just to let you know that I enjoy your stories, pictures and advice! Thx

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