Saturday, December 12, 2009

Barred Owl Trek

A Wonderful day Enjoyed with Several Friends

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I was lucky to be able to get together with some good friends for a trek up to Brighton for some Barred owl shooting., we circled around the local Provincial Park for a while when Megan spotted the first owl in a marshy area, the bird seemed very keen on hunting at that point.

Shortly after we had set up our cameras, the bird moved off to a new perch... we had moved the vehicle well away from its first location, and we were all surprised to see the bird flush before anyone came close!

After maybe 15 minutes of shooting, the owl decided to head to another perch that looked much better for photography, so we followed it once. Another 15 - 20 minutes at this perch, and the bird looked sleepy, so we turned and left it alone. A run into town for some lunch, and we all thought we would go back to look for another owl, as there were 8 birds reported on the previous day.

A good look around, and we all got out of the vehicle for some hiking on foot. Maria and i separated from the group, and walked down a path. it was getting too cold for maria, and I could see she was getting sleepy, as we were up early at 5:30 am, so we turned around and headed back up the path for the truck. So who comes to visit us?? our friend from the am.

We called the rest of the group back, and watched this bird move from perch to perch, hunting on its own, it actually flew down into a ditch right in front of all of us, and came up with a large vole for its mid-day snack.

A few more frames, and the end of the day was near. Amazingly, after everyone had left, and it was just me, Maria, and Megan, the bird virtually followed us around.

These birds have a nests right in the campground. They are indeed very habituated with people, and most of them are very friendly. I look forward to a few more trips east for future visits to see these awesome owls of the woods!

All of these images were taken with the D300 - 200-400 VR, Katana Gimbal head, Gitzo 1340. this last image was fired at 1/3 second. The Katana Gimbal provides a very solid and flexable supprt for any long lens. I have never been able to aquire such sharp images at these low shutter speeds in the past. Thanks to Pro Media Gear for allowing me to work with, and test their products.

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