Tuesday, March 18, 2008

OK so this is the tamest ever Snowy Owl!

We took another trip out Sunday into whitest Ontario in search of a confiding immature Snowy Owl. When we go there it was 350m away sheltering under a shrub! Despite my age I put the big boots on and started out across the snow covered field. It was not too bad, a few bits were three feet deep but mostly I was able to propel my lithe body over the snow towards the bird.

As I got to within 100m it showed the tell tale signs of moving, a fluff up here, a stretch there. My experience around St-Clet is that they are ready to scoot when they do that, but this one surprised me a little by scooting in my direction and landing within 30m. I steadily stalked it using all available cover (none) getting to within about 10m, it cautiously ignored me. I then took around 250 shots, some of which are below.

When another guy arrived to photograph it he just walked up beside me and started clicking. As I left he edged nearer so I waited hoping for flight shots, I had not bargained for the bird just walking away from him when he got close enough to smell its breath. Thanks Darren for directions.

On the way out we had diverted via Hudson hoping that the Great Grey Owl might show again but no luck there, nearby a nice flock of 60 or so Bohemian Waxwings sat trilling in a roadside clump of trees.

So below my shots in no particular order, I thought I'd put the one with the photographer in for perspective. Do click on the for that 'in your face' experience.

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