The images are excellent!
Up at 3am to arrive at 5am to meet Elliott. My second trip – this time with a friend. We shared the PhotoArk hide – managed to fit ourselves plus 4 bodies and lenses – a 600, 500, 100-400 and 80 -400 plus a 16-35 on a remote camera., and lots of food for the 16 hours we spent!
Was it worth it? Definitely! The old farmhouse setting has various well-sited perches for the little owls as the sun moves from East to West, producing great images. The early morning burst of activity lasted 2.5 hours – followed until late afternoon by occasional visits of the owls and a woodpecker joining in. The interaction between the 2 little owlets is wonderful to watch and photograph.
The evening light arrived to another burst of activity lasting 2 hours. The images are excellent – lots of backlit little owls against different backgrounds. My remote camera produced an interesting set of images, the wide angle giving a different perspective of the little owls in their environment.
The combination of lenses worked well - 600mm for the perch and window shots and the 400mm zooms for landing and take off.
Looking forward to a visit next year – hopefully to photograph the buzzards. Elliott is very professional in his dealings and his advice is spot on ensuring you capture the best images.
John Evans Amateur/Hobby Little Owl Hide August 1, 2017
A truly wonderful day at the Little Owl hide
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.
Tony Banks Amateur/Hobby Little Owl Hide July 22, 2017
A stunning job!
After spending a few sessions in your Badger hides this summer, thought I would put a few lines together to say how well you have done them. They are comfortable and well thought out, offering ground level views. Equipped with plates to mount tripod head, comfortable mat to lie on, and mattress for those who wish to stay the night (even a small fan if you’re getting to hot).
Positioned to take full advantage of the low evening sun, which on the evenings I was in the hide bathed the feeding area in a lovely soft light, backgrounds where clean ,a large field stretching into the distance. The badgers started to come in just after 7.30 and where back and forth till after it was dark. During the time I spent in the hide, around six badgers where active, so you can be kept quite busy.
All in all Elliot has done a stunning job, and put a lot of work, and thought into the hides, to ensure you can get the best out of your time, in comfortable conditions, and can achieve the best results possible
Carl Mckie Professional Badger PhotoArks™ July 17, 2017
The best hide I have ever been in!
The best hide I have ever been in, very comfortable and large windows, even for a 600mm. All the shots have clean backgrounds and lots of light. I had great action all day, with birds flying backwards and forwards. The babies even made an appearance.
I would definitely recommend and WILL return, thanks Elliott
Ray Taylor Semi-Pro Little Owl Hide July 7, 2017
Couldn’t have asked for more!
Superb hide, well thought out and a pleasure to spend the day there. Elliott was prompt and fab with communication before and throughout the day. Couldn't have asked for more and will be back!
Rebecca Fulchar Professional Little Owl Hide July 4, 2017
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
Hi Elliott. Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed using the badger hide last week. The hides are quite unusual and seem perfect for ground level photography while being very comfortable if you decide to stay through the night with sleeping bag and air mattress provided. The ground level camera position makes for some fantastic shots while the foam mattress makes sure you're comfortable.
The badgers appeared around 7.30pm and continued to be active long after the last light had faded. I managed to capture some really good images with the setting sun providing the most amazing light. I opted to stay the night so was able to witness the badgers being very active just before sunrise. Highly recommended.
Keith Humphrey Amateur/Hobby Badger PhotoArk™ August 10, 2016
Loads of opportunities for different types of shots
Hi Elliott - thought I would just email you to say how much I enjoyed the Little Owl hide day and to thank you for all your help and advice. The setup is great with the variety of posts and the farm building itself gave me loads of opportunities for different types of shots and I managed to capture some really nice images, and of course the three chicks were a real bonus. Best wishes, Brian
Brian Winter Amateur/Hobby Little Owl Hide July 27, 2016
Super opportunities for close up shots
Who would have thought sitting alone in ‘a box’ for 14 hours could be so much fun!! The ‘box’ in question is a fantastic hide – shelving all around perfect for the shelf plate (provided) and gimbal head and lots of space to organize your gear while you swivel in that infamous super comfy chair!!
Information received a couple of days prior to the visit was superb ensuring every aspect of the day ran smoothly. I was in the hide from dawn till dusk and was treated to a show of continuous action throughout the day from the female Little Owl. There were super opportunities for close up shots on the various feeding posts and charismatic family encounters with the juveniles in the old farmhouse window……. and at the end of the day, the pièce de résistance, a glorious sunset perfect for backlit portrait shots.
A professional service throughout – thank you Elliott for a great day.
Jayne Bond Amateur/Hobby Little Owl Hide July 21, 2016
Comfortable and run to a very high standardI spend half my life in hides around the world. Those run by ProHides I have found to be comfortable and more importantly run to a very high standard with regards to consideration of the wildlife and secondly that of the photographer (which is the way round it should be!). Elliott was professional, very well informed and I came away with some great work that can often a lot longer to achieve. All things in I say Bravo!
Richard Costin Professional Little Owl Hide July 7, 2016