World of Birds Prey – Snowy Owl
The Trust flies the birds of prey that take part in the display every day to keep them in practice. The time of the display had moved up so that we could watch before having our lunch back in the restaurant.
I had seen Chinook helicopters passing by earlier in the morning. Too far away to grab an image but as we waited for the display to start an Apache attach helicopter flew behind us.
The display would be another extended test of my techniques to capture birds flying over and by at sometimes great speed. The Snowy Owl took up a position way beyond the arena and could just be seen on a tree. When called it swooped over and around the banked benches of the arena to join its trainer in the arena. Then it would fly back again over our heads to a perch way behind us.
As there was only about 20 of us it was easy to move about and to stand to pan the passage of the bird. Things would be very different if the Trust was open to the public and all the benches were filled with people.
And here is one of the places the owl flew to out in the field beyond the arena benches.
One of my better images. I was using Auto ISO and my big lens. This image was shot at ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds at 371 mm.
I was having difficulty keeping the owl in the frame. Here’s an example of where I just about managed to capture it and then a square crop of the same image. The camera’s settings were ISO 160 f/5.6 1/1000 second for this image.
The owl flying out of the arena.
World of Birds Prey – Peregrine Falcon
The peregrine falcon came next into the arena.
Once the falcon took off it soared above us. Then the difficulty was getting an image big enough when my lens was at its maximum of 400 mm.
I’m not sure how I could improve any of the images of the peregrine falcon as it soared so high above us. To the naked eye it was often just a dot in the sky.
The peregrine falcon and a plane even higher in the sky.
And finally here is the falcon at rest.
The sun had vanished and with the biting wind I was now very cold. I decided to miss the rest of the show and go back to the restaurant. I missed the hooded vultures and the black kites.
My ham, egg and chips plus a pot of tea was very welcome in the warm restaurant.