17 April 2011

Owl in a hole

A Ural Owl at Ouma this afternoon. It was also in the same place in the morning too.

There were 2 or 3 people taking pictures of it in the morning but when we returned in the afternoon there was one very large car inside of which sat a grumpy looking oldish man with a big lens. He was parked right in front of the Owl (which was about 10 metres or so off the road). The Owl is tolerant of people as long as they stay on the road. Knowing this I got out of the car and took a couple of photos, the light was good. The old man then shouted at me, telling me I had to get back in our car to take pictures. I was somewhat taken aback (surely the shouting was more intrusive to the Owl than my quietly taking a few pictures but anyway). 

There are times like this when I really wish I could speak more fluent Japanese. I would have loved to have been able to say 'who the f**k are you, the f**king Owl police?' but I was restricted to 'anato no fukueo desuka?' which means 'is it your Owl?'. Sarcasm loses everything in translation. Actually I should have walked in front of his car and stood in front of his camera. Or maybe I should have said 'sshhhhhhhhhh. don't shout, there's an Owl in that tree over there'.

I tried experimenting a bit with auto ISO today, here are some of the results from ISO 100 to ISO 3200.........

The Glaucous Gull was near Oshamanbe, the Tits and Nuthatches were at Onuma.

It was a bit of a frustrating day, some nice birds but not many nice shots. There were several Eastern Marsh Harriers near Oshamanbe but I could only get this crappy record shot.

Back at Onuma the Black Woodpeckers and Mandarin Ducks were around but again no chance for a keeper.

It was sunny but very windy today, and the wind was cold. Here are some sheltering Dunlin at one of the ports near Oshamanbe.

On Friday I got up early to check if the Crossbills were still in the park, they were but only high up in the trees. The Siskin and Brambling were still there too. I then did the long walk down the river, along the beach and into the forest at the foot of Mt Hakodate. The first singing Japanese Bush Warbler of the spring were there as were the common resident Woodpeckers, Tits and Nuthatches. There were some Red Necked Grebes on the sea and a group of 30 or so Common Buzzard on their way north. No decent photos of any of them though.

So do I hope Liverpool lose tonight meaning Arsenal can close the gap on Man Utd? Hmmmmmmmm.

Here's a view from Onuma at the end of the day. Nice and peaceful but I was still fuming about being shouted at by some stupid old oyaji.

I hope the Owl flew at him and scratched the front of his lens.

Thanks for clicking this link. 



  1. The first owl photo is so wonderful. I like the way the heart-shape of the owl's face is echoed by the hole in the tree; just fabulous.

  2. It's too bad some know-it-all spoiled your day. I know in theory that I must remain unaffected by such behavior of some people,but it's easier said than done. But cheer up,look at all those beauties you did manage to bag!

  3. Your first shot is superb Stu, and yes sometime we get to meet some strange people!!! Very strange indeed! Well I guess that's the life of bird photographer!!! Nice set of pictures even with tried set up of ISO... I think I will be constantly amazed by the varied tits... It's a wonderful bird... I also do love a lot the black woodpecker!!!
    How is life doing?

  4. Thanks for all the comments.

    Chris-life is OK, no radiation here (yet!), only rude grumpy old men with expensive big lenses........

  5. Greast serie Stu, your owl lokks a lot like our Barred Owl, very nice shot :) All those image are pretty but i really like the mandarin shot...this duck is such a beauty!

  6. That top shot is super- looks like the owl was made just for that shaped hole. One thing is for sure, birders and bird photographers sure get grumpy easily.


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