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
Brilliant! Book before they go!
A fantastic few hours with the Little Owls in the most comfortable hide ever! Almost continual action for the whole time! Brilliant! Book before they go!
David White Amateur/Hobby Little Owl Hide July 7, 2016
Fantastic couple of photographic days
What a fantastic couple of photographic days I’ve had in Elliott Neep’s Little Owl Hide. He runs a very efficient and well run operation making my visit easy and enjoyable.
I went for the early morning sunrise and evening sunset sessions to get the differing light and wasn’t disappointed - so much action! The owls were taking regular food back up to their nest giving huge amounts of photo opporortunities especially as they are completely unphased by the camera.
The rustic farmhouse backdrop, the varying perches which gave clean natural images for my close up shots, plus a a few hints an tips from Elliott has meant I’ve been able to put together a great portfolio. The interaction with some of the local wildlife proved an exciting bonus.
Let’s not forget the padded swivel chair in all this; never have I had a hide so snug and comfy with all the amenities. Can’t wait to get some shots of the fledglings when they appear.
Hilary Bilinghurst Amateur/Hobby Little Owl Hide June 16, 2016
The action was literally non stop…
The window was well within range of my 600mm lens so I took the occasional shot as I observed the Owl – after a while the Owl started coming down to the perch and feed on the mealworms which had been left out, it was now that I started taking the shots I had wanted. This back and forth to the perches carried on for several hours, the action was literally non stop until about 10am when the Owl left the area, I was actually a little pleased to rest my eyes and have a look at the images I had captured. When Elliot arrived, I filled him in on all the activity, I think he could see how chuffed I was with the session. After dropping me back at the meet point I bid Elliott farewell and thanked him again for such a great session – I truly can’t wait to go back later in the summer to photograph the young Owls once they have left the nest.
James Smith Semi-professional Little Owl Hide May 23, 2016
A truly professional level of serviceProhides provided a truly professional level of service, from the effective communications and booking through to the advice and the hide, topped of course by a hugely charismatic little owl in a memorable setting. A truly unforgettable experience and some great photos - excellent all round!
Mark Fellowes Semi-professional Little Owl Hide May 22, 2016
Best hide I have sat in!
Just a quick note to say I had a very productive time in the hide, managed to get lots of pictures, and a few good images that I'm very pleased with. The hide is very comfortable... It's the best hide I have sat in and could not think of anything that could improve it.
Andrew Bradley Amateur/Hobby Little Owl Hide May 14, 2016