A morning with a Great Gray Owl
I was out early in Bragg Creek again yesterday on the hunt for wildlife to photograph. The morning sky was steel-gray at dawn which was not terribly exciting but there were only a few scattered deer in the fields so I went for a hike along the edge of Kananaskis Country for a little while. Around 7 the clouds were doing the scattering and the sunlight took full advantage. Back in the car, I drove towards a spot I’ve seen moose at frequently to see if I could photograph them in this warm light. I went past an immense thicket and that ended my drive as there were two young moose grazing on the new buds and leaves growing on the reddish branches. I will get to them in another post but for now I will say it was a fantastic moment and the cow was a very friendly moose. I walked with the female for quite a while and when I left her I had a bit of a ways back to my car. When I got back, there was a Great Gray Owl staring at me from a post on the edge of the thicket. The sun had come out and the owl looked spectacular.
The owl flew between three posts as it scanned the ground looking for a meal. It made one dive but the creature must have zigged while the talons zagged. I missed that dive but I was happy with the images I had as the owl flew along the edge of the brambles.
The tensing of the owl’s body just before jumping into the air is an interesting look at this instant before flight.
The owl flew across the road and went up to a treetop, presumably for a higher point of view. The sunlight lit up its wings and I had to recover the highlights in the image below as the change in light was more than I noticed in the moment. From here, the owl flew into the forest, where I was able to follow the silhouette of the wings for a couple of minutes.
After this encounter, I drove to some fields where I saw both moose and another owl earlier in the week. I found the owl waiting for me on a post at the edge of the forest. We walked (well, she flew) together for over an hour. That too will be the subject of another post soon to come.
This entry was posted on May 19, 2012 by Christopher Martin. It was filed under Animals, Birds, Bragg Creek, Owls, Wildlife and was tagged with alberta, BIF, bird, bragg creek, Canada, flight, flying, Great Gray Owl, nature, spring, strix nebulosa, wildlife photography.
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