Thursday, April 3, 2008
Barred Owl Best & Last
I went back to find the Barred Owl at its day roost location, because the day was PERFECT. It was 50 degrees, sunny, and very little wind. I had to try out my new lens (400), verses my old (300) one. He was at his usual branch, so finding him was easy. I wanted to get in and get out without disturbing him too much. If I could get my shots and leave without a fly off, the day would be a total success, because I always feel bad when I disrupt ANY animal's day. I would feel horrible if this owls interpretation of his own safety led him to find a new roost. I could no longer enjoy his beauty, although I hoped today would be my last time shooting him.
I found a decent angle with the fewest branches obstructing his face and took some shots. I stayed there for a good 15 minutes, before I decided to leave, and when I saw him close his eyes and take a nap, I knew he had to be O.K. with my presence.
I left in the opposite direction and continued on my way, looking for migrants. As I left that area, a few people with RC cars were racing their way towards the woods. I wondered if the noise of these things would disturb my owl.
I made my rounds through the forest, keeping my distance from all the noise and eventually headed back to the car. As I put my equipment away, I thought that the guys were too close to the woods, so I thought maybe I could go back with my equipment, hopefully causing them to move out, thinking they would think THEY were disturbing me. My plan worked. They left that part of the park, and since I had my tripod with me, I thought maybe I could get some really sharp shots with this "perfect day" opportunity. I didn't want a reason to come back to shoot him again, I just wanted to leave him in his peace. As I entered the woods, I knew immediately that he wasn't there. Those noises must have flushed him to a quieter area. That was O.K. with me, because I got the shots I already had without flushing him, anyway. As I walked around looking for birds, he caught my eye again in another tree on the far end of the forest. This tree was much better for photos, because the limbs and branches were not obstructing everything. I set up, got my shots, and walked out again, without flushing. It was a GREAT day!