Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Morning and a Snowy Owl

When we first saw the Snowy Owl
Christmas morning, a sunny day with temperatures in the 20s and a breeze blowing, my son, grandson and I appropriately dressed, traveled out to gooseberry to see if we could find the Snowy Owl. We hiked up to the tip of Gooseberry and came back down the east side of the island without seeing a snowy owl. Mainly what we observed and photographed were small sandpipers, Dunlins and Sanderlings along with a single Ruddy Turnstone. Arriving back at the car, my son said let's look over the west side of the island just off the parking lot to see if anything is there. My grandson and I said go ahead, and as we were waiting by the car, my son suddenly waved to us to come over, we grabbed our cameras and my grandson's tripod and we went over to the west side of the island where to our left approximately 50 feet was a Snowy Owl sitting on a rock. We slowly approached the owls staying low and taking pictures as we went and were able to get to within 20 feet of the owl without causing it any distress. I was using my 70-200 mm F/2.8 Nikon lens with a 1.7 convertor on it and my D7100. After taking a number of photographs, I exchange lenses with my grandson who is using a Sigma 300 mm F2 .8 with a 1.4 convertor on it. At which point, the snowy owl put on a preening show for us. We photograph the action for around 20 minutes, when the owl pooped. I told my son and grandson who were using zoom lenses to open the zoom on  their lenses and be prepared, because the owl was going to fly.  At this point the owl flew approximately 50 feet down the beach and landed on another rock. The only problem was the wind was blowing from the south and the owl flew into the wind, giving us a rear end photograph.  Rather than  following the owl down the beach, we called it quits and just enjoyed what we had observed and photographed, making for a great Christmas morning

Snowy Owl Preening

Snowy Owl fluffed up

Snowy Owl Preening

Snowy Owl Preening

Snowy Owl fluffed up

Snowy Owl with wings spread

Snowy Owl Preening

Snowy Owl Preening

Snowy Owl with mouth open

Snowy Owl Preening

Snowy Owl fluffed up

Snowy Owl evacuating

Snowy Owl flying into the wind