Monday, 25 February 2013

Winter Owls!

A trip to Ottawa over the Family Day weekend netted me three Great Gray Owls.  This is the first time I've seen this species.  What a fantastic bird!  

To be upfront, there were some photographers who were baiting this particular owl with live mice.  It's not something I'm keen on as I think it does take something away from the experience but I guess I didn't refuse to take any photos in protest. 

And this is the third of the trio (number two only appeared briefly before it was seen off by the first bird).

Ottawa was really great.  Cold as anything but it was great fun snowshoeing in Gatineau.  We had beautiful weather.  The following weekend, I went out to the Leslie Street Spit with a friend and, after a brief look at a very skittish Great Horned Owl, we managed to dig up a Long-Eared Owl.  On our first pass, it flushed and I could only get a shot through several branches (but I like it nonetheless despite clipping off its tail).

We revisited it on our return trip and it was really cooperative.

The sun even made a brief appearance obligingly sending some dappled light across the owl's face.

 Lots of portraits, I know.

And finally, my favourite, I think.

I really like winter birding.  It's often quiet but the owls make up for it (plus, being in a forest in the winter is just great on its own).