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My very first ever owls. Thanks Bill.

Discussion in 'Birds' started by james thiel, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. As Bill has already posted a few pictures these may duplicate some of his as well. I have wanted to get an owl picture for the past year of my shooting birds. When I saw the reports of the Snow Owl I knew this could be the year I would get to see one. Bill, Olga and myself headed up to the Skagit flats. Our first stop was a bust, but we did learn from some nice people where to go. First thing out of the car, two adult Bald Eagles flew over us. This was a good omen. Next we saw a Northern Harrier, and then it was the Snowy owl. Just as I was setting up to get a picture, some hunters came and scared it off. Boy I was mad. At least I go off a quick shot from a long distance to record my first owl. The short-eared owl is very small and so fast. A real challenge to track for sure. These were all shot with my 500 with 1.4tc. It was mostly overcast and thus it was hard to get a fast shutter speed. These were shot at ISO 800.


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    This is the snow owl. It was a long ways off but at least I got one shot of it before it was scared off. I know it is soft, that is because I had not properly set up. I was just getting a quick shot knowing it may fly off at any moment and it did.

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    I did get a couple shots of some eagles playing and a Northern Harrier. It was a productive day and now at least I can say I have seen an Owl.

    I wish the owls had been closer. These are all pretty heavily cropped
  2. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    Good for you Jim
    Had a great time, found some birds on your list of have to haves (on my list too)

    1st shot is just great with the moss and wood it all works !!
    the BIF's I'd take and be happy with any day and twice on Sundays

  3. Good shots Jim, did't even know they had owls up there.

    I also like #1 best.
  4. Thanks Ben. Now I have a good one and I can go from there. It will be easier next time. I may even calm down enough to steady my tripod! Man I was excited. I never thought I would see one in the wild. They are no Jim Fenton shots but I will take them any way.
  5. Thanks Ron. Yes, #1 was my best as it was also the closest one. After that they went further away. Bill got the close in flight shot and for that my hats are off to him. I am glad I got one of the snowy even if it was a mile away!!!

    Maybe next time we will see you there.
  6. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Very nice. I've not even seen an Owl in the wild yet. They are high on my list. :smile:
  7. Jim, you are most welcome :wink:

    Once again, I think I recognize that very bird...even the one that is almost all white at the bottom, and boy is it obvious what those extra MP's can do for you. What the rest of these folks don't know is just how far away these birds were. To put this in context, I'll post one of the Short-eared sitting on the same log that Jim shows in his first image. This bird was about twice as far away as the first ones I posted which I shot while Jim was off getting a shot of the Snowy Owl. For me the Snowy was too far off to pull anything good out. Can't wait for those 10MP's of my D200 when it arrives......

    These look great, Jim, glad you were along when we found some. After looking all last season and not seeing any, to find 3 today was quite a treat.

    Looking forward to the 17th as well, I'm already starting my Eagle Dance....
  8. Wow, great!

    Owls are #1 on my list, I have no idea where to find them in Southern California though...
  9. Very nice I am jealous, well now that you know where they are you can go back and get properly setup
  10. Thanks Mike. I hope to be able to do just that. The problem is these owls are very unpredicable. They may not be there when I return but I will give it my best. It is also helpful to have experienced their habits and so next time I will have a better idea of what to expect. Bill has a good post on how we found these guys.
  11. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Thanks James

    My owls are a month late.....typically we'd have several snowys and a bunch of short eared owls and not one has been spotted yet...not have the dozen or so Bald eagles that spend the winter around here.

    Therefore....these were a great reminder of what I have to look forward to if and when they show up :) 
  12. Jim I was just happy to see my first owl! I hope to have more opportunities for improvement. It was a very exciting day. Boy these guys were hard to capture. It really makes me appreciate even more your fine work. Hope they show up soon for you. All the best.
  13. Hi Jim

    Well, you are ahead of me - yet to photograph an owl. Great captures. I hope we see more of these!
  14. HarryB


    Jan 28, 2005
    Viera, Florida
    Really outstanding Jim.
  15. Super shots. I'm still waiting for my 1st shot of owl.
  16. Rory, I am surprised you have not shot a picture of one yet. I had not even seen one in the wild so a first all around. Hope you get one soon.
  17. Thanks Harry. It was a real treat for sure.
  18. Be patient, I am sure you will get one. I tried all of last year with no luck. Bill showed me where to go, but all of last year I never saw one. I am hoping this will be a big year for owls and eagles in our area. Thanks again.
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