Welsh Owl & Raptor Spectacular – Birds of Prey Photography Workshop DetailsThis Birds of Prey Photography Workshop takes place at a stunning location in Mid-Wales. Accompanied by a dedicated falconer, this is a fantastic opportunity for photographers of all levels of ability to get up close & personal with some amazing & charismatic Owls & Raptors both perched & in flight. Our highly experienced falconer who is always present, may even be able to accommodate special requests. We have access to plenty of beautiful backgrounds, natural perches, derelict buildings, fields, fencing and more to ensure a good variety of shots. There will be a mix of flying & static shots – we will for certain have the Tawny, Great Grey & Bengal Eagle Owls flying. For static shots, we will have a selection from Canadian Great Horned Owl, Short Eared Owl, Bengal Eagle Owl, Great Grey Owl, Barn Owl, Little Owl, American Red Tailed Hawk, Common Buzzard, Hobby, Kestrel & Peregrine Falcon. There will also be the opportunity to photograph either the Buzzard or the Hobby on a “kill”. You will be able to get incredibly close to some of these magnificent birds for some eye level frame filling portraits with natural backgrounds. The falconer will do his best to hide the jesses to make the shots look as natural as possible. The Barn Owl (Tyto Alba) is a pale, long-winged, long-legged owl with a short squarish tail. The light face with its heart shape & the black eyes give the flying bird an odd & startling appearance, like a flat mask with oversized oblique black eyeslits, the ridge of feathers above the bill somewhat resembling a nose. It hunts by flying low & slowly over an area of open ground, hovering over spots that conceal potential prey. It feeds primarily on small vertebrates, particularly rodents. The Barn Owl has acute hearing, with ears placed asymmetrically for improved detection of sound position & distance, & it does not require sight to hunt. Hunting nocturnally, it can target & dive down, penetrating its talons through snow, grass or brush to seize rodents with deadly accuracy. The Tawny Owl (Strix Aluco) is a robust bird, 37–46 cm (15–18 in) in length, with an 81–105 cm (32–41 in) wingspan. Its large rounded head lacks ear tufts, & the facial disc surrounding the dark brown eyes is usually rather plain. The Tawny Owl flies with long glides on rounded wings, less undulating & with fewer wingbeats than other Eurasian owls, & typically at a greater height. The flight of the Tawny Owl is rather heavy & slow, particularly at its first entering on the wing. As with most owls, its flight is silent because of its feathers’ soft, furry upper surfaces & a fringe on the leading edge of the outer primaries. Its size, squat shape & broad wings distinguish it from other owls found within its range. This nocturnal bird of prey hunts mainly rodents, usually by dropping from a perch to seize its prey, which it swallows whole; in more urban areas its diet includes a higher proportion of birds. Vision & hearing adaptations & silent flight aid its night hunting. The Great Grey Owl (Strix Nebulosa) Adults have a big, rounded head with a grey face & yellow eyes with darker circles around them. This owl does not have ear tufts & has the largest facial disc of any raptor. In terms of length, the Great Grey Owl is believed to be the world’s largest owl but much of its size is deceptive, since this species’ fluffy feathers, large head & the longest tail of any extant owl obscure a body lighter than that of most other large owls. These birds wait, listen, & watch for prey, then swoop down; they also may fly low through open areas in search of prey. Their large facial disks, also known as “ruffs”, focus sound, & the asymmetrical placement of their ears assists them in locating prey, because of the lack of light during the late & early hours in which they hunt. They have excellent hearing, & may locate (and then capture) prey moving beneath 60 cm (2 feet) of snow in a series of tunnels solely with that sense. They then can crash to a snow depth roughly equal to their own body size to grab their prey. The birds of prey photography workshop will start at 9am & run through until midday, when we will take a very leisurely lunch to avoid the harsh midday to early afternoon light. The session will resume at 3pm until 7pm to get some nice light & hopefully some setting sun shots with some silhouettes.
For those who would like to cram in as much photography as possible over the weekend, NaturesLens would like to invite you to join them for a few hours of Red Kite Photography at Gigrin Farm on the Saturday afternoon. If you would like to take advantage of this, please let us know in advance so that we may arrange hide hire. We will meet you at the Farm to take you to the hide & also offer advice on how to get the best out of the afternoon.
We can accommodate a maximum of two spectators at the Birds of Prey Photo Workshop in Wales – they must be accompanying a paying photographer & will be charged at £60 per person
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