Meeting Time & Location
Thank you for booking the Little Owl Hide. We will be meeting at X. Either Richard or myself will be waiting for you in a blue and silver Toyota Landcruiser. We’ll then take you across the farm to the hide. It is entirely up to you when you start and when you finish your session in the Little Owl Hide. Please be aware that, in order to minimise disturbance of the nesting owls, we can only make one drop off and one collection per day. In essence, once you are in, you are in.
We strongly recommend for people to arrive before sunrise, so you can get set-up and ready in the hide in time for the best light. At the moment that means meeting at x:xxam. If you are wanting to setup a remote, then please allow a further 20mins or so set-up time. If you are travelling any distance, you might want to consider staying overnight, so you are bright and fresh for the morning.
The owls are most active early morning and late evening. However, we always recommend entering the hide early in order to set-up your gear, take your test shots and prepare. Collection time is usually 9:00-9:30pm. You can decide on a departure time as the session progresses.
Little Owl Essential Tips
The Little Owl Hide is approximately 8m from the photogenic perches. The farmhouse window is about 15m away. The backgrounds are clean and clear of distractions. There is natural colour variation due to the render and brickwork of the farmhouse.
Directly in front of the hide there are perches that the Little Owls fly to and regularly perch on. We have attached small feeding trays to the rear (out of sight) where we put live mealworms and earthworms. These posts are only 6-8m from the hide and 400-600mm equivalent focal length will capture full-frame portraits of a Little Owl, or a nicely framed view of the window.
We recommend shooting sparingly and do not move or rotate the lens around when the adult is watching you. Wait until it has its head in the food or has flown back into the house before repositioning. This all helps to prolong your session. If you ‘machine gun’ and wave the lens trying to keep up with the Little Owl, it will become very suspicious very quickly and will disappear. In short, it’s best not to draw too much attention to yourself.
Inside the hide
Inside there is a single, but very comfortable height-adjustable swivel chair. A sturdy shelf runs under the windows at the front and sides. The windows are covered by a shutter which you open with a cord located above your head. Only open the shutter, once you have closed the door behind you. We will show you all this when you’re settling in. Currently, only the front window is in operation.
There is a black scrim net to cover the window which is large enough to drape over your cameras. There are blackout curtains in case sunlight is coming directly through the front window. Our advice is to keep these closed as much as possible, just allowing enough room for you to see out (but please do not press your face against the scrim). Also, please do not use tablets or laptops, or anything that illuminates the interior of the hide while the shutter is open.
The owls are tolerant to low levels of noise but we advise limiting noise from inside the hide when they are around. If the wind direction is catching the scrim or curtains, there is a beanbag you can use to just pin them down and stop them flapping too much. We strongly recommend dark/black clothing.
- Camera body (there is room for two side-by-side)
- Minimum 400mm EQV focal length lens with lens hood
- Tripod head
- Fully-charged batteries
- Empty memory cards
- Small torch (a wind-up torch is supplied)
- Food & Drink (something to pee in)
- Dark clothing
- Fully-charged phone
- Back up body
- Teleconverter if using less than 400mm lens