The Snowy Owl

Dear reader,

I feel like Owl's are on the top of many people's birds to see list. There is something beautiful and mysterious about them and in movies they are often portrayed as magical or mystical. On Tuesday January 2nd I set out with the intention to find my first Snowy Owl, which would be my second Owl sighting ever. I bundled up as much as I could, full long johns, thick socks, a t-shirt, a sweat shirt, jeans, scarf, gloves...you get the idea it was -20c. I had heard a couple different times from different people Snowy Owl's were in the area and I had researched as much as I could so I knew where to look. It was painful to get my camera out of my bag because it was so cold and I had to take my gloves off to put the lens on. I started off down the path nearest to the shoreline, scanning the shore with my camera the whole time. Not too far into the park not expecting to find an Owl because I was looking with my naked eye and couldn't see anything I scanned the shoreline with my camera and right in front of me was a Snowy Owl sitting on a pile of bricks and old rusted metal pieces. Snowy Owl's are well camouflaged in the winter, they are very hard to spot. I freaked out internally but was sure to not make a sound. I took a picture and checked all my settings to make sure I was ready to get the best picture possible. After getting some insurance shots from my current position I walked around some bushes to get closer hoping it would be there when I got back around. It was and it was so beautiful. Now I was pretty close. It just kept scanning on it's neck axis with half opened eyes. It didn't notice me so I took more pictures. I knew about an Owl's neck rotation but it was really cool to see an Owl scan in person, think the Exorcist. It's neck almost did a full circle. Since it didn't seem to notice me I tried to get closer without bothering it. I crept closer. It seemed to notice me now so I stopped. I took a few pictures and it went on scanning. It didn't care I was there. I moved a bit closer and it sat with no signs of stress. I took pictures from different angles and it never flew away, it just sat there. after getting what I thought was a good picture I left the Owl alone. I thanked it for changing my life forever and then text my girlfriend to let her know how amazing the experience was. I was feeling a bit cocky because when I told her what I was doing in the morning I didn't say going to take pictures I said going to take pictures of a Snowy Owl and it happened. I was so happy, any other birds I saw that day were a bonus.

 

Sincerely,

Danny Miles- The Drummer Who Loves Birds