An afternoon with a Snowy owl
With visions of the Boundary Bay owls still streaming past my mind’s eye, I went out for a drive on the Prairies this weekend. I have been working on my Snowy owl imagery pretty steady this winter and have found a few images to be elusive to create. For this trip east of Calgary, I was hoping to get some interactions showing a little personality as well as head on flight images. It turned out to be a great afternoon for both.
I went east on highway 22X and roamed a few of the range roads north of Carseland. I found a hawk followed by an eagle in the first couple of miles. I left the Bald eagle on its perch in a barren tree and zigzagged back towards the highway.
Well short of the main road, I found this Snowy owl perched on a fencepost a few hundred yards into the field. I waited for 15 minutes and then the bird launched and flew in front of me along the fenceline and crossed the gravel. I picked it up on a telephone pole nearby and that was its field base for the afternoon.
Over the next couple of hours, the owl dove off the beam several times and earned a few snacks along the grass and snow. At launch and during its return flights to the perch, it gave me some wonderful opportunities as it would keep an eye on me now and then.
During the long breaks between sorties, the owl sat largely motionless except for the full circles carved in the air by its head. There were a few great moments with interesting yawns,
and humorous facial expressions.
One of the tours detoured to a long abandoned windmill which made for a great scene. The blue sky and white bird can make even a worn out relic look great! Well, that particular structure has a lot of good character on its own but I think you know what I mean.
So we had a good rhythm for quite a while and when I finally packed up it was in the middle of a glide back to the same perch. I would have loved to stay until the evening light but the hands were cold and the bird had been a very accommodating host so no reason to wear out the welcome.
This entry was posted on March 23, 2013 by Christopher Martin. It was filed under Animals, Owls, Wildlife and was tagged with alberta, animal, BIF, bird, Bubo scandiacus, flight, flying, nature photography, Prairies, Snowy owl, wildlife photography, winter.
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