The last few days we have been blessed with much needed moisture.
Snow. White everywhere. There just is not a better fill light for photographing birds in flight.
I really wanted to get out and shoot. Some really fun shots can be taken in snowfall. Too busy at work. Dang it! This afternoon intently working on a couple of tasks I didn’t notice a slight clearing outside. After a storm in winter it is usually a clean and crystal clear day. There it was waiting for me. Needed an excuse to get out. My drivers license expires in less than a week!!! In no time and at breakneck speed I picked up my camera gear at home and made it to the DMV. A full house. A waiting list. The last number called was 195. I was 212. A room full of pre-drivers, CDL’s, renewals and an impatient photographer. As I sat and watched an hour so go by my hopes of getting to Antelope Island was diminishing by every click of the clock. Needed a backup plan. The DMV is less than 2 miles from Farmington Bay. Without the appropriate ID I was finally given a temporary permit and out I flew. My reference to flying in no way is an admittance of covering a couple of miles in less time required to eat a Twinkie….
Ending up at my favorite spot to wait and watch Harrier Hawks I noticed something was different.
The winged animal on a favorite Harrier post didn’t look like a Harrier. In an instant it took off.
An OWL! This cute guy flew right at me and landed on the other side of the dike. What a beautiful bird. I was shaking from excitement. These days it does not take much.
If you know me and have followed my photographic antics you know capturing some pixels of an owl is my nemesis. I have few shots. Tonight it seemed extra special. Maybe the wait. More than anything just thrilled to see everything sharp as a tack. Maybe just another gift for me. As if to say hi or get my attention he then shook. Probably an acknowledging the bitter cold.
This was a short gift. Off he went. Right past me again. Not a bit interested in me.
What an incredibly beautiful bird in flight! Seemed as though he was so light he need not flap his wings. The tops of the wings somewhat similar in color to the Harrier.
The privilege was mine as he flew so close I almost couldn’t focus. Many other bird enthusiasts drove by not knowing of my gift. Unless you have 20-20 vision and a keen eye, this unique critter just appeared to be a common Harrier Hawk. This time of year Harriers easily found and more easily overlooked.
Another great gift for a wonderful month. Might have to get out early tomorrow and do more investigating.