Little Owl Hide

Our little owls are in a characterful derelict Farmhouse, located on a private farm track (no public access) at the foot of The Downs. The little owls regularly perch in the photogenic window (opposite the hide), bathed in golden light on a clear sunrise. In front of the hide, several photogenic perches have been installed, including old fence posts and a gate. We’ve salvaged the old timbers from the nearby derelict barns for a more authentic feel and in keeping with the farming environment. These are all positioned for the best background and light. Click here for my Little Owl photo tips and advice.

Updated 21st July 2017: The little owl family is showing well in the morning and evening. The two remaining chicks are now out on the perches. One will be ready to fledge soon, but it looks like there is at least another week for the last chick. Follow us for updates:  | |

This awesome Little Owl Hide is open all day, every day, dawn to dusk, 7-days a week for £150 daily fee. Flexible start and finish times to suit you. Read client testimonials 

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At a glance...

Current StatusOpening 17th JulyStar AttractionLittle 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 OpportunitiesClose-up portraits, feeding and landing on variety of authentic old perches
HabitatDerelict farmhouse exteriorShooting AnglesFaces 320° North-West
No. of Photogs1 PhotographerSeasonMay to August
ConnectivityIntermittent 3G/4GFeederMealworm feeders
Viewing1400 x 500mm window, cord & pulley shutter, blackout curtains, scrim netAccessFlat ground, steps into hide
HidePhotoHut Mini™Price£150
* 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 Little Owl Hide

Our hide, the PhotoHut Mini™,  is possibly the most comfortable hide you will have ever used. 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 spare gimbal head, should you forget your own – requires Arca-Swiss style plates.

The PhotoHut Mini™ has been installed onto a 500mm high timber platform (steps are always there) so you can shoot at a reduced angle to the window. The added benefit of the platform is that you’re shooting at a slight downward angle for the added perches so the backgrounds are especially clean when shooting at f/4 – f/5.6.

 

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The Little Owls performed brilliantly!

I had a truly wonderful day at the Little Owl hide.  Although the start was early, meeting up at 5am, I was soon transported by Elliott to the hide and once inside immediately felt comfortable and at home, and it needed to be as I chose to spend the next 16 hours there!  The Little Owls performed brilliantly and when they were resting away an obliging Woodpecker appeared to help himself to some of the meal worms available.  Luckily there were enough for the 4 Owls that appeared at various times and the Woodpecker;  the latter soon became by best friend as he visited so often!

The Owls were wonderful.  There were 2 young and the adult birds.  The young quite obviously looked the part with lots of fluffy feathers and what looked like light coloured down on their underside.  Mostly one bird appeared at the feeders but sometime two came together.  The window in the old farmhouse provided an excellent backdrop and the empty pane was usually filled by one or 2 birds and sometimes with another looking out from an adjacent window.

Spending so much time in the hide enabled me to not only enjoy taking photographs but also observe the Owls’ behaviour.  On my day it rained in the morning and this provided added interest to some of the images.  Once the rain had stopped it allowed me to witness an adult Owl spreading its wings in gusting wind, perched on the top of a post as if trying to dry them.   The Owlets had some interaction which was quite amusing, some of which I admit I seem to capture with more luck than intention!

Elliott is one of those people who cares passionately about wildlife.  He has worked tirelessly to establish a hide that fits in with the environment and sits comfortably with the Little Owls, allowing them to flourish and live their free life.  Many thanks Elliott for making this possible.

Read More Testimonials

Tony Banks Amateur/Hobby Little Owl Hide July 22, 2017

 

Remote Cameras

If you would like to set-up a remote camera, you can now add this option during booking (See below).  You must be practiced and able to setup your equipment quickly – if in doubt leave it at home. You will need: a low-angle camera support, such as a low-working tripod, GorillaPod or beanbag; Preferably a radio remote shutter release. IR is ok, but not as reliable and it is too far for a wired shutter release; For best results, a wide-angle lens in the 14-20mm range. You will also need the necessary connection cables and charged batteries.

Before we reach the farmhouse, you will have an opportunity to make sure it is all working and mount your camera on the support. However, we would greatly appreciate it if you could setup and test your remotes before arrival. Once tested, you’ll be shown the designated area for remote cameras. Once set, you’ll be settled in the hide, but please do not leave again to make any adjustments. Again, if in any doubt, leave the remote at home. This is for advanced users only as we cannot linger in view of the little owls.

Little Owl Photography 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. I have also put together a comprehensive guide to photographing the Little Owls at the hide which I highly recommend reading before your session.

For lunch, dinner and hotel reservations at The Royal Oak in Bishopstone, please call 01793 790481 or email them at royaloak@helenbrowningorganics.co.uk 

In order to protect the animal’s welfare, there is a zero tolerance policy against leaving the hides unescorted. Please do not leave the hide unless specifically instructed to do so. Bring a container to urinate in (see FAQs for more info). There are no public rights of way and your excursions will disturb the wildlife, possibly causing irreparable damage to the location. Hidden trail cameras monitor the site at all times.

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