Little owls are for me, after the owls, one of the most fascinating nocturnial raptors, even because in Sardinia we don't have eagle owls, that I think they're the best one, as well as the snowy owl.
To see them, they're so cute and fluffy, but they're a really skilled hunter, so during the breeding season they can hunt a lot of prey in order to feed their chicks.
What to know
Before start to photograph little owls, let me say that the first thing you have to think about them, is their safety. In my opinion preserve their safety is vital, not only for this specie, but for all species. Respecting the nature, the little owls as well, should be a "must-do" for any wildlife photographer. Instead I often saw bad behaviour from some guy who pretend being nature lovers...But carry we on!
On the Net there are a lot informations about owls, in any languages, so the best tips I can give you, is to read them before to do anything. The knowledge is really important in this field.
Nowadays nature and wildlife photography are quite challenging, even though on the Net you can find many "How to" in order to achieve your goals. Photographing animals is not simple, due to their erratic presence in the field or due to their distance from cities, in fact they live in very hard environment and often they're difficult to reach. But that only if we're speaking about "top animals", like big raptors, bears, leons/tigers or very elusive mammals.
In these short writings I'm going to show you some trick how to approach wildlifes respecting species, because the nature and wildlife photography must have an ethic to preserve their safety, mostly during the breeding season.
In my last holiday, I went to Cornwall in the UK. My expectations were really high because I saw many images on the Net with marvellous places. But how sometimes happens, the weather wasn't so good. Actually I had many sunny days, but they were too sunny, so no days with some clouds for stunning sunsets, no wind for powerful seas or coastlines.
My trip started from Luton towards Bath, where I spent a few days going around for that area. The town is really nice with its cathedral, the Roman baths, and a pleasant city centre where to walk quietly. In Bath I've taken some pictures of the Roman baths, but it isn't my genre as you know.
Not so far Bath, a day, I went to see Stonehenge. That place is an icon of the UK and I couldn't not see it. If it had been alone in an unknown countryside, I'd have liked more, because with the visitor reception centre, the bar and the shop, it loses a bit its magic aura. Fortunately people can't go inside the stone circle, so you can admire its beauty with no distracting people inside it.
These are my pictures:
In both, I had to clone some people from the background but thankfully they were only a few.
Going further south I found isle of Portland, a small isle linked to a road, so it's easy going there by car. This isle is pretty nice, but I spent there only some hours, anyway enough for some pictures:
I spent the last part of the holiday in the southern part of the UK, sleeping in Truro, a really, really nice town, very characteristic, it deserves to be visited. From there I went to see another icon of UK, St.Michael isle. That place is strange and magic. During the high tide you can go in the isle only walking in the water, using a stone path, or using a boat. But with low tide, everything changes, and it becomes easy going to visit it crossing the sea. The stone path became visible, dry, and you can go there safely. I was hoping to have a good sunset, but I wasn't lucky: the sky was really clear!! I tried some shot, but I'm not so sure of the result:
Continuing my trip I went to Titangel, a famous small village for its castle, the King Arthur castle, maybe. Due to the coronavirus, the castle was visitable only pre-booking the tickets, and of course I didn't!! I took only some picture of the beach under the castle, where there's Merlin's cave, but equally interesting.
But really close to Titangel, there's a beautiful waterfall inside a woodland, the St. Nectans waterfall. To get there is quite easy. You have to walk for about 30 minutes following a road at the beginning and then following a stream until you reach the place. The area was wonderful, but finding a bar and a visitor centre was weird for me, that I'm getting used to having a wilder place in Sardinia. Anyway, I took only one picture, because it was impossible doing anything else: there were really too much people!!! Someone was in front of my camera, someone was under the waterfall, someone was waiting for me. So this is the only picture of "my" St. Nectans waterfall:
The last day of the trip was the Land's end, but I was very unfortunate. The weather was really bad. I found a foggy, windy and cold day. I couldn't see anything. The worst day of the trip!! I took only two pictures, just as I remember...
With two these pictures ends my trip in Cornwall, but I hope to go there again, maybe with better weather.
During one of my usual short trip, I saw a place that I knew before. Always the sensation has been of bewilderment and desolation, but later with anger. A fire has destroyed a large part of countryside near my city, a place where I spent my time looking for some raptors or taking some nice pictures during the sunset, but mostly to stay in nature.
Seeing all that devastation was terrible. Knowing that many animals are dead by hand's man is discouraging. Nothing change, never. Year after year, here in Sardinia every summer is dead somewhere due to some fire. And anyone can do anything because it's difficult to find the responsible for that destroy, and the worst thing is that they're arson!! Natural fires are quite rare, despite the hot wheater of this period.
This time I haven't got any pictures to show you, maybe next time and maybe I'll show you a short video. But there's news. From the buzzards' couple that I'm following from many years are born two new chicks. Unfortunately, I haven't seen the initial part of the moment, when eggs break and the chicks come out, due to coronavirus lockdown. Only two days ago I've seen the chicks in the nest using a spotting scope. It's been amazing seeing them. One of them is still white, I mean it has still the white feathers, while the other has many brown feathers, sign that it's bigger and, perhaps, older. It's quite normal that one egg hatches before the other, so that the correspondent chick grows up before. The older chick was moving on the nest, flapping sometimes his wings, while the other was pretty quiet. The adults were flying around the nesting area, maybe for hunting some prey, but they tend to stay quite close to the nest, in order to check the chicks. During the observation, I stay inside my car, so they aren't afraid. Generally, birds fly away when someone, by foot or by car, arrives, but they know my car and they know that I'm not a danger, so they aren't worried about my presence in the area, allowing me to study easily them. Next time I'm going to save a short video, always using the spotting scope, so the video quality won't be very good, but only for documentation purpose, so stay tuned.