Sunny Saturday morning was forecasted and there were news online that about 8 Short-eared owls seen in and around RSPB Rainham Marshes. Having missed the Short-eared owl who briefly visited Tottenham Marshes last Spring I was excited to see and possibly photograph my first Short-Eared Owl.
It was cloudy and dark early in the morning so I got to Marshes around 9.30. Had a lovely pasty and a coffee from the cafe in visitor centre and started my quest for the Short-eared along the river bank.
Walked all the way down along the river scanning for the visitors however no luck until I came to the end of the path. Seeing a collection of birdwatchers together in one place aiming all their scopes and binoculars to one direction lifted my hopes up.
As I was approaching the spot birdwatchers kindly directed me to the SEO who was sitting on the grass about 35-40 meters away from us.
Yappeeeeee…. a big tick….. my first wild Short-eared Owl.
However, it’s too far and sitting on long grass so not ideal for photography. I stayed there watching the sitting bird for about 45 minutes hoping it will go for a little fly around for lunch so that I can click a few. But no luck there.
I got bored and thought will go for a little wander around the area.
A half hour walk and no sign of any owls. Stood on the mound looking down the marshes and the river thought its good time to take some landscapes.
Finished a panorama shoot and I felt something moving behind me. Wow…. with its graceful flight there was the bird I wanted to photograph. It dived for something so I quickly changed my lens ready for him to come up. There it was appearing from the long grass with a mouse in his mouth. Got a couple of shots but I could have taken more if I didn’t distracted myself on watching the flight and be amazed by it.
Having the bird caught a prey is not good from my side because it will not hunt again for a while.
More waiting for me then….
My patience paid off as about 15 minutes after there he is again on the wing. This time I took full advantage of the situation and fire away some shots. The owl was flying around scanning the ground for about five minutes and disappeared in to the grass again.
Waited for another 45 minutes waiting for it to come back but it didn’t. So I thought of heading back to the visitor centre as It’s high time for a nice cup of tea and cake.
Common Name : Short-eared Owl
Latin Name : Asio flames
Location : Rainham Marshes
Date : October 2015