Otter Cubs - Isle of Mull 2011

Otter Cubs - Isle of Mull 2011
These were taken at Loch Na keal - Isle of Mull 2011. THIS PHOTOGRAPH HAS JUST COME 2nd IN THE NATURE PRINTS SECTION OF THE LANCASHIRE AND CHESHIRE PHOTOGRAPHIC UNION ANNUAL COMPETITION

Monday, 15 March 2010

Saturday 13th March - Burton - Dee Estuary

I set off from Home approx 5.50am with the stars shining bright above my head. Half way to Burton the stars started to disappear. This was most probably the nasty grey cloud that was to be present for the remainder of the day, not impressed. I arrived at Burton at 6.35am and parked up on the side of the road. Camera poised, at the field with the two boxes in, for 45 minutes.Then, from the marsh, came the Short Eared Owl, gliding in without a wing beat across the road towards the field. It flew around the field looking for it's next meal for the next 10 minutes.

Short Eared Owl



Short Eared Owl



Short Eared Owl

The owl decided to land, as shown here, for the next 50 minutes, slowly moving to wards the long grass. It then took off out of site, not to be seen again until later that afternoon.



The above photo's are not the best due to the very poor light conditions. My camera was set to ISO 800 and the shutter speed for the above owls were approx 1/100 of a sec. not the best for birds in flight or noise on a digital camera.

A short while after the owl went away, A Stoat appeared out of the long grass, approx 30 feet way, and had a quick look round before it spotted me and ran back below the grass.

Stoat





After sitting there for another 2 hours with no show. I decided to walk towards Decca pools to see if the owls spotted there last week would be around. But I never saw them. A Mallard, 3 Greylag geese, Common Kestrel and 2 Curlew flew over head.

Mallard



Greylag



Common Kestrel



Curlew



I stayed at Burton all day waiting for the Short Eared Owl to show again and it wasn't until 5.00pm that it appeared again, as if out of the blue or grey in this case.Again, no light and again slow shutter speeds, but you have to deal with what the weather throws at you. Another day with the right conditions will happen some time in the future, I'm sure. Below are a few taken out of a series of some 50 shots. It's these or nothing. The sun did put it's hat on for about 15 minutes early in the morning, that's when I took the Mallard, Curlew and Greylag Geese.

Short Eared Owl



















Besides all the above, I saw the Hen Harrier, Peregrine and all the other usual stuff, no rarities that I saw with the scope.

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