Thursday, 27 February 2014

Merlin, Short Eared owl, Snowy (20140225) Another attempt at the little owls

Last Friday's outing with Tim and Jamie was a bit of tease as the owls were there but we could not get close at all. So Jamie and I thought we would re-try, the good news was that we were to have a sunny evening, with a little warmer temperature.
We did a little cruise around before "assuming our position", and found a couple of very skittish Snowy owls. Along a stretch of metal graineries we found this Merlin.
We were not certain of the make and model of this unit at first, but some additional shots provided us with enough information to confirm. This bird made a couple of dashes at some small birds that were also visiting the buildings.
I managed to get a couple of pursuit shots, we do not believe that the bird was successful in its hunt.
These are usually woodland birds so to find one in this environment was pretty unique.  Just up the road, we found a Snowy that was a little more approachable.
It did not stay long, but I love the blue sky opportunity with these birds.
I know these birds will only be around for another 2 or three weeks, they will soon be replaced with many of our other birds with a little more colour. For now I will settle for white, brown and blue:)
We kind of got way laid when it was time to get in to position and it turns out we were a little late. There were two active owls flying about and landing on fence posts, unfortunately the birds were between us and the sun.  We worked our way west with the hope that a bird would hold on a post for us but that didn't happen.
We spent an hour waiting and watching with no luck.  So at 6:25 we decided to head out. Sundown was at 6:07 so it was getting pretty dark.  As we eased our way out Jamie spotted this unit on the ground near the road.
I handed my camera to Jamie to grab some shots, you gotta love a F2.8 lens. He hurriedly took  few shots then I made a few adjustments to attempt to get some better quality images.
So we finished up the day on a high note. Just up the road was our 4th Snowy of the day, but even in the near dark conditions it would not hold :(  
A super "S" day with Shorties, Snowy's and a SharpShin:)  Come on out to Calgary and I will get you out for your own Super tour.

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