A work in progress… The resident Barn Owl pair have been roosting and nesting on the farm for decades, using two photogenic derelict barns that are situated a couple of fields apart – roosting in one and raising their chicks in another. I love these old ramshackle barns. The roofs are falling in, the old machinery is rusting away… Both sites have been steadily reclaimed by nature over the years, with brambles, nettles, and elder taking over. Now the barn owls call them home.
My Barn Owl Hide is situated at The Woodshed, the larger of the two barns. It’s open-faced with a southerly aspect and just about perfect for barn owls and wildlife photography! The main gate-post perch (a genuine gate post, not a prop) is perfect for sunrise, while the barn front and window are bathed in light in the afternoon and evening.
There is a wealth of wildlife in the immediate vicinity with a junction of mature hedgerows hosting a great range of birdlife and other animals that visit the site. Other wildlife you are likely to see and maybe photograph include buzzards, little owls, red fox, roe deer, and various passerines.
The Barn Owl Hide will be open for dusk-to-dawn session, 7-days a week for £TBC fee. Enter late afternoon, stay the night, collection in the morning.
At a glance...
|Current Status||Closed||Star Attraction||Barn Owl | Red List | Click for RSPB info|
|EQV Focal Length*||Setup for 400-600mm (300mm lens with 1.4x converter or crop-factor camera)||Photo Opportunities||Close-up portraits and landing on authentic gate post|
|Habitat||Derelict woodshed exterior, open field||Shooting Angles||Faces 50° North-East|
|Capacity||1 Photographer Only||Season||May to August|
|Viewing||1400 x 500mm window, shutter, blackout curtains, scrim net||Access||Flat field, potentially muddy|
|* Focal Length: We test our setups using full-frame DSLRs and a variety of lenses. Our primary testing lenses are a 400mm f/2.8 and 600mm f/4. If you have a crop-factor DSLR, then multiply your lens' focal length by the crop factor. For example, 300mm x 1.6x crop factor = EQV 480mm|
The Barn Owl Hide
My hide, the PhotoHut Mini™, is possibly the most comfortable hide you will have ever used – just check out the testimonials. It is a 1.5m³ timber hide, built to the same exacting standards as its bigger brother – fully lined, insulated, shutters, scrim netting, blackout curtains, very comfy height-adjustable swivel chair, rock-solid shelf for our tripod head plates or beanbags – room for a tripod if you prefer (but I recommend using the shelf).
There are two tripod-head plates, constructed from a machined metal block. They are perfect for mounting a tripod-head and enables you to move the camera position from side to side, while providing a rock-solid platform for your tripod head. These are in the hide at all times along with a Jobu gimbal head, should you forget your own – requires Arca-Swiss style plates and a spare is provided.
The PhotoHut Mini™ has been installed onto a 500mm high timber platform (steps are always there) so you can shoot at eye-level to the gate post. The added benefit of the platform is that you’re shooting at a slight downward angle into an open field, so the backgrounds are especially clean.
Barn Owl Hide Booking
When open, the form below will take you through the live availability, booking and payment. Payment can be made directly with a valid payment card using our new Stripe gateway, or via PayPal. You do not require a PayPal account, just a valid debit or credit card. Simply select “Checkout as Guest”.
Upon booking, you will immediately receive a booking confirmation email – please contact me ASAP if you do not receive this. Shortly before your booking date, you will also receive full joining instructions via email, including the meeting location. Please seriously consider this booking. If you feel you cannot remain in a hide for the night, then please do not book. I will not be offering ‘evening only’ or ‘morning only’ sessions.