Forest owls in flight
(Please click on each picture for high-resolution versions of each image)
My friend Jeff Rhude came out to Bragg Creek to photograph along the back roads with me this morning. We struck out for West Bragg around 6am with the sun fighting valiantly to burn off the haze. The resulting soft light was wonderful and stayed with us through our first meeting with one of the owls I have photographed a couple of times recently.
We found this owl a couple of hundred metres down the fence line running at a right angle from the road. It flew to a couple of posts and we photographed it from the field facing the forest. It moved back towards the road and we went ahead of the bird to try to guess where it was going to fly next. Moving off the road, we walked into some open forest and had great views to a couple of the flights in the trees. The owl went to a stump overlooking another field and we walked up the hill to have a higher point of view.
Flying up to a knot in a tree the owl was looking past me and after a bit of shuffling it launched… straight towards me. It happened fast but the autofocus was up to the task and I kept the lens on the bird as it flew right over my head. Having that experience and some great images, we agreed to head back to the road and leave the owl to continue its hunting.
We covered a few more productive spots and we found two separate Great Grays. The last owl spent most of its time in the trees near the road but then made a great set of dives. The third attack was successful (for the owl, not as much for the mouse) and completed a good morning. If you are interested in seeing these and a few others from the day, I invite you to visit this web gallery.
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This entry was posted on May 28, 2012 by Christopher Martin. It was filed under Bragg Creek, Owls, Spring, Wildlife and was tagged with alberta, BIF, bird, bragg creek, Canada, flight, flying, Great Gray Owls, nature, wildlife.