Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Short-eared Owls at Cumberland Fields

Tight crop of the short-eared owl
There will be two blogs today because in yesterday's blog I did tell you I would show you some of the landscape photos from the Snowy Owl Quest. But, first I want to tell you about yesterday afternoon at the Cumberland Fields Farm located in Middleborough and Halifax Massachusetts. Cumberland fields is an important bird area and recently there have been reports on both snowy owls and short-eared owls on the property. My grandson and I went hopefully to see and photograph the short-eared owls. The short-eared owls have been reported around the old cemetery on Wood Street, which is in Halifax. Because the short-eared owls usually appear in the late afternoon toward sunset, we arrived around 3 o'clock and set up our cameras. I was utilizing my Nikon D3s, Nikon 500 mm f/4 with a 2X converter. I also used my Nikon D 7100 and a 24 to 75 lens to take pictures of the cemetery.

Old cemetery location
The first bird that we saw was a female northern Harrier who flew right by us coming from the woods that were across the road behind us and I was only able to capture it going away. Most of the Harriers that appeared were in the far distance against the tree line, which made for a very distant shots. We finally moved up to around the cemetery which did bring the birds in a little closer but they still were actually very far away

Northern Harrier over the tree line
The short-eared owl appeared just before sunset and were flying just around in front of the tree line which still made for distant shots even though we had moved closer. The photos I obtained were just record shots. When I go back again as if that continues to the snow like it has been I may need snow shoes I will walk down to the tree line and pick a spot so that are hopefully I can photograph both the Harriers in the short-eared owls closer and larger in the frame.

Environmental photo of short-eared owl
Environmental photo of short-eared owl
Short-eared owl looking for prey
I finished the afternoon with the landscape shot of the cemetery, the trees in the sunset.

Old cemetery at sunset