I finally got round to visiting Russ Telfer’s Tawny Owl hide and what an experience it was. I had seen on Russ’s website – click here and via his photos on Facebook and the quality of the Owls in particular was a massive draw.
Meeting at Russ’s place for a coffee and a session to discuss the evenings plans it soon became apparent to me it was going to be an interesting night. We talked about our own history in birding, bird photography, the history of Russ’s hide and his aims in starting this project off.
The idea of learning new techniques to improve my images is always on my mind and when on site with Russ running through things on the plans was inspiring me to try to get more our of my own photography. In short about 90 minutes of tuition on the setting up of the gear to do remote photography from the hide before darkness fell and hopefully the birds would appear. Russ’s passion on what his aims were for his customers was clear too, teaching them about the art of field craft, photography techniques, using different lenses and much more.
You have to be ultra quiet and still after dark and with a little luck you get decent results, My camera and 400mm lens were set up on one perch and Russ had a wide-angle lens set up on another lower perch. I was then down to the Owls to choose the perches to land on – or not! Over a 3 1/2 hour period we had around 6 visit to the perches, bait and several low flypasts when the Tawny was sussing out things. It was brilliant even the times bird were not to be seen was full of anticipation, well for me at least it was.
The bird in the images is the same bird, the male of the pair in this area and on the same perch I know but for me this does not distract at all from what was a great 6 hours spent with Russ, I will be doing it again sometime soon.
If you are interested in having a go at Russ’s hide please go to his website, website link is above just click and a new window will open up for you to look at the info the hide, select the Sturton Eastates page and then contact Russ, I am sure you will not be disappointed.