Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Right Place at the Right Time

Had some spare time today and was able to convince my herping buddy Chris Boguslawski to come out of winter hibernation for an afternoon of birding. We rendezvoused around two in the afternoon and set off. Conditions were overcast and with some light snow flurries. We quickly tallied a handful of raptors including Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, and a Merlin. I was hoping to snag a shot of the merlin but it was much too quick for me to get my camera up in time. As we were about the leave the area, we spotted a Short-eared Owl perched atop a telephone wire.

Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus), Washtenaw County, MI
We drove a short distance from our first location to look for snowy owls. We came around a tight corner when I noticed this snowy right along the road, it was quite cooperative for some nice shots from the car before eventually flying off.

Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus), Wayne County, MI

It was getting late in the day and Chris was hoping to see Short-eared Owl up close, so we headed back to our first stop in the day just before dark. Almost immediately upon our arrival, we noticed two individuals flying along the edges of the field. One ended up perching on a small fencepost and allowed us to get really close for some killer shots.

Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus), Washtenaw County, MI
It was awesome to finally get some really nice shots of these owls, particularly the snowy. I told Chris he needs to come along with me more often as I have never gotten as close to the birds as I did today.

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