Sunday, March 2, 2008

The tamest Snowy Owl ever
We did a little trip west into Ontario to look for Snowy Owls in the Casselman area. After seeing a lot of snow we eventually came across this female atop a utility pole so we parked a respectable distance and took a few snaps. After twenty minutes or so the other car bound birder present left so we drove a little closer, and snapped. Then, because we were facing the wrong way, we drove past the bird, turned and parked, and snapped.
During all of this activity the only thing the bird did, apart from swivel its head, was do a dump, leaving a rather pleased look on its face (see if you can spot the post dump photo).
Eventually I got out of the car and approached cautiously, ready to freeze at the first sign of disturbing her, hoping she might look down. Soon I was directly under the bird who's indifference to me was bordering on the insulting. Other cars passed (and slowed down in that Canadian way they do in case anything interesting was happening but rarely actually asking what) and the owl just sat there.
Using my full repetoire of proven noises that attract owls' attention I retreated deflated, it cast a passing gance but, with me being relatively fur free, decided I was not worth the fuss of a stare. She was still there when we left.
On the way home we drove around Hudson a bit, finding a small flock of Pine Grosbeaks in the top of a tree. Not great subjects for a photo at that range but what the hell. No sign of yesterday's Great Grey Owl but it was pretty bright and we only looked from the road.
Click on the first owl shot for the full effect.

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