Sunday, 2 March 2014

Moose, elk, eagle, Sharptail (20140301) Great owling day Part two. Updated with Kerri's input!

With lunch behind us we thought we would take a peek for an NHO to add to the list, and maybe throw in a Northern Goshawk. We were in some "new to us" country and were rewarded with a sighting of two bald eagles, this one was very patient with us.
As we cruised through the Northern Hawk Owl location we were able to see it, but it was not in a location that would afford some shots. The northern goshawk was unavailable, but we endeavoured to persevere! Perseverance was the key to getting our next critter. There were  a lot of fresh tracks on the hillside as we passed through Sharptail country, and with the weather I was certain we should be able to find a bird sunning itself.  On our second pass we found this little "basketball" basking :)
On our way to my second Sharpy spot we found this cow moose feeding in the middle of the day. This shot doesn't show her breath as it was being whisked away by the wind. I believe I have posted shots of this same ungulate previously.
Kerri wanted to explore a specific road out to the west here and we headed out into that spot. As we traveled through the area I told her what I had seen on my various trips to that area. On our return out of the river bottom we found this small herd of elk.
So two different types of adventures on the same day. We finished the day with 14 owls in total ( 7 snowys, 5 GHO's, 1 SEO and 1 NHO) not too shabby. We were home by 4:30 and Kerri was a very happy camper. We now have 5 GHO nests that we can watch, so you can look forward to many, many, owlet shots coming in the next couple of months.

And here are a couple of words and photo's from Kerri :
As you have already read, Turbo and I had a great day on Saturday! There were a couple of instance were I was better positioned to get some images, being in the passenger side of the truck. One was a beautiful, but somewhat nervous, snowy owl. She spread her wings and few off just as we were approaching, allowing me to get my best ever snowy flight shots. I was really happy to capture this image of the white beauty with the blue
sky in the background.
Later on, I was reviewing my images on my camera and not paying attention to the road when Turbo rolled down the window and pointed to the right. This Roughie was gliding by, again on the right side of the sun (and the vehicle, for me a least!). I luckily managed get my camera raised and focused for several shots as it flew by. If you look closely, you can see the white line of frost surrounding the eyes. With the extremely cold
temperatures, frosty-eyed creatures were a common sight for the day. I can only imagine what it would be like to fly through -40 air with eyes encrusted by frost, but this is Alberta and I'm sure our creatures are used to it.

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