Sunday, December 17, 2017

Owls on Amherst Island

In the last post, you saw how many Snowy Owls are hanging out on Amherst Island. The island is known for owls and even has a place called "Owl Woods" where birders go to see owls in winter. Well, we drove down a very snow covered dirt road and found the woods. When we arrived, it was sunny. As soon as we got out of the car it started snowing sideways. Guess what we didn't find? Owls. Zero owls in Owl Woods. Busted. g

We thawed out in the car for a few minutes and headed back to the main road. By now, it was getting late and we hoped to see Short-eared Owls cruising the marshes and fields. Boy were we happy when we saw 2 "Shorties" flying together along the road just about the same speed as the car. And then 2 more joined them. They were all kind of chasing each other. 2 landed in a tree. Then, 2 more flew in. Then Todd yelled "stop the car!" He noticed one sitting on a post in someone's yard really close to the road. It was getting late and not great conditions for photographs but when you have a bird just sitting there . . .

We set the ISO to 2500 and just started shooting and playing with the settings. Here he is looking down at something. Check out the snow blowing sideways!

I backed up and put the bird in front of the sky for a different effect. The wind was whipping the bird's feathers up.

The funny thing is that Todd and I were talking about how hard it is to get a photograph of Shorties. They are usually down in the marsh or flying past you at dusk. Honestly, we couldn't stop taking photos of this bird. He just sat there and we just kept telling each other how we couldn't believe our luck.

All in all we counted 7 Short-eared Owls and got to know one of them pretty well. It was a magnificent way to end a very long day.

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