Little Owl Hide

Updated 19th May 2017: Little Owls continue to show very well. Mornings are very busy, followed by the usual lull in the middle of the day, then activity picks up again after 5pm. As with last year, the activity is extremely intense with loads of opportunities. The pair have really taken to the new perches and there’s lots of interaction between the male and female in the evening sessions. Follow us for updates: Twitter @ProHides | Instagram @ProHides | Facebook /ProHides

HIDE NOW OPEN! While the little owls are in residence, the hide will be 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

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 Elliott’s Little Owl photo tips and advice.

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At a glance...

Current StatusNOW OPEN!Star 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.

 

Little Owl in Flight by Lindsey Munro

This is a lovely setup!

As I pour the last cup of tea from my flask I reflect on a very fruitful few hours with the 'little guy'. He has been as busy as a bee flying in & out with tasty morsels for 'her inside'. It's 10am and he seems to be taking a break and so do I as we've been eying each other up for a while, I've been in position since 05.15.

I decide to try for some flying shots, could be a test of my reflexes and timing as no setting the shutter on high, just single shot allowed. By 4 pm it wasn't my reflexes that were being tested but my love of wildlife as he persistently refused to land on any post that I had preselected/guessed he would fly to. Absolutely no way of predicting it. Little Bugger. I now had quite a few out of focus Owl flying past selected post or just legs dangling at the top of a shot. Finally, finally he flew to the right post a few times on the trot and Venus was ascending, the moon was rising and Take That were giving me a personal performance, I managed to get one! Phew.

This is a lovely setup Elliott has built, right opposite a derelict farmhouse with a broken window in a old wooden frame on the top floor where the owls have returned to breed. He sits for sometime in the window checking for predators before flying. Various old posts and fences about 7-8m from the hide are arranged for him to land on and feast on cleverly placed mealy worms with a variety of background possibilities.

He doesn't always choose one of these options but goes off piste to hunt and it's interesting to see what he comes back with! The hide is plenty spacious with a comfy chair, surround shelving for all you bits and bobs, metal plate with a screw for your own gimble head, two more plates with wimberly's on if you don't have your own plus a bean bag. My mobile was low on power, don't ask, so I had to save it for the odd communication with Elliott and it was lovely to be quiet and alone listening to the sounds of the farm and countryside with my own thoughts, time to think with no outside distractions, all very mindful and restorative and you get to go home at 9.15 with hopefully some rewarding photos.

Lindsey Munro Amateur/Hobby Little Owl Hide May 21, 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

The form below will take you through the live availability, booking and payment. We also have several optional extras which are explained below. Payment is via a PayPal. You do not require a PayPal account, just a valid debit or credit card. Upon booking, you will receive full joining instructions via email, including the meeting location. Click here for an example. We have also put together a comprehensive guide to photographing the Little Owls at the hide which we highly recommend reading before your session.

  • NEW! Royal Oak B&B package: Our latest service upgrade means that we can now offer a full package: hide day, meals and overnight accommodation. You won’t have to worry about a thing. Transferred literally door to door with food and overnight stay all taken care of. The price of this bundle is £250.
  • NEW! Royal Oak Lunch: Not everybody can sit in a hide for 14+ hours straight. So, we are now offering a new service where we collect you from the hide and take you the Helen Browning’s Royal Oak for a sumptuous lunch. We will then collect you and return you to the hide. The price (£70) includes a meal for one plus drink, and covers my time and fuel.
  • +1 Photographer: We are now offering additional capacity, so you have the option of adding a second photographer (£100) or non-photographer (£50) to your booking.

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.

You are booking this hide in good faith and in the understanding that this is wildlife. There are no guarantees or promises. Every effort has been made to deliver a great experience with a level of comfort. However, these are truly wild animals. There are no controlled conditions.

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