It has been a few months since I saw a great gray owl. This afternoon, I found one down an old gravel road hunting in and around an open stand of trees.
A lot of perching and waiting punctuated with a few flights between trees.
And a couple of attack dives into the snow.
This dive was unsuccessful but she did capture two voles while I was there.
I look forward to the next opportunity to have some owl time. No matter when that is, it was great to close out 2022 with this encounter with one of my favorite animals.
After returning from the ospreys in Invermere without any shots of them catching fish, I was happy to capture this osprey’s successful hunt in Kananaskis last weekend.
This osprey and its partner hit the lake a couple of times over the course of a few hours. On this run, the raptor was close enough to afford good detail and provide a couple of nice images. Later in the afternoon, one of the osprey settled on a nearby tree to eat another catch to complete the cycle – no catch and release here!
I’ve been visiting this spot frequently and look forward to more opportunities through the summer.
I spent a morning watching a great gray owl flying over the long grass which broke up the forest. Spring has not yet taken hold so the color palette was rather pale but matched the owl’s plumage exceptionally well. He missed on the first dive into the field but came away with breakfast on two other occasions.
A couple of weekends ago it was a beautiful, sunny morning at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary. Ducks were quacking and swimming around the open water in the ponds. Two Canada geese flew in and paddled towards the edge. The scene was hectic but peaceful… up until a nearby goose took exception to them coming into his territory. He flew over and then chased them away. This image is when the defender was attacking his perceived intruders with hissing, splashing and general malevolence.
A chickadee at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary flew up in front of me. Made me think of positive aspirations – onwards and upwards. A good visual to ruminate on.
It was interesting thinking about two in different forms on this 22nd day of the 2nd month in 2022.
I liked thinking of couples, pairs and partners. I ended up thinking mostly about my love most of all. Happy two day sweetheart.
This image from the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary of two Canada geese taking off from the Bow River seemed a good fit for the theme.
This great gray owl dove at something in the hillside grasses behind this sign. I wasn’t in a good position for that attack but I was when it returned to the sign post it was hunting from.
In mid-April, snow fell regularly. The robins had arrived earlier in the month and I wasn’t sure how they would feel about the weather. One afternoon, I photographed this one for a little while. He didn’t seem to have any issues with the white stuff as he bombed through it and flew around to a few different spots around the yard.
This great gray owl was hunting in a field near Grand Valley Road a couple of weeks ago. On one of the glides between perches above the grass, she flew towards me and landed on a ranch gate behind me.
This loon had a small lake to himself a week ago. After swimming around a small island once, he decided to preen. I am used to this being a relatively short session that ends with the stretch out of the water as in the image above. This time was very different and saw the bird splash, skim, dunk and flap for 15 minutes. I’m guilty of thinking that he was having great fun during his bath time. While this is not unusual behavior for loons, it was new to me for the amount of time and the exuberance displayed.
I had a great time was watching and enjoyed looking for dynamic images that I have never had the opportunity to photograph before. The head emerging from the water, wings outstretched perpendicular to the water, surface skimming while beating droplets into a fury around him were among my favorite moments. Here are a few of the images that put a smile on my face when I reviewed them a couple of days after the encounter.
This owl was hunting along a field and flew up to this post close to me after swallowing a vole. The sunlight shone through the extended feathers as she flared her wings to land. The intensity of the great gray owl eyes was on full display as well. A few different elements came together to make an image that I really like.