Monday, March 24, 2008

Bouncy Great Grey

The lingering Great Grey Owl at Hudson was in its favourite tree this evening. The bitter wind that tortured us over the Easter break had subsided and with it -20 wind chill.

On arrival the bird greeted me with its usual indifference so I ventured out into the field, trying to change the angle to lessen the effect of the sinking sun. The bird showed no sign of noticing me so I took a few photos hoping for a full frontal. Suddenly it started to bob its head, range finding a sound beyond my hearing. I'd just started to snap again when it launched from its perch off across the field.

Thinking that was it for the day, I was captivated when it twisted in mid air 30m away and hit the ice crusted snow with enough force to cause it to bounce about a foot high. It settled onto the ice looking disappointed at having made no headway. It lingered a while so I started switching from auto to manual hoping to get an edge, it then effortlessly flapped back to its perch and resumed its vigil, almost deliberately turning its back on me in disdain.

In the fading light I eased my way back to the road having had one of those wildlife experiences that linger long. This has been a lousy winter weather wise and we are supposed to have a bit more yet. Events like this take the edge of the winter very nicely.

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