I went to look for a Barred Owl yesterday afternoon. It had been found the day before by a friend of mine and I figured it was a bird I really shouldn’t miss! Anyway, it was easy to find and I spent almost two hours with it – longer than any other Barred Owl I’ve seen I think. It was late in the afternoon and the bird was roosting when I got there, but was actively looking around. I set up my camera and tripod and took a few snaps, nothing great because there too many branches in the way to get any clear angles. However, I’m a bit of a fan of “half-hidden” birds as I think it looks more natural that way. I’m probably almost alone in that regard though!
Anyway, after 30 minutes or so the owl suddenly lurched towards me and landed right above my head! I was worried I had unwittingly spooked him, but it soon became apparent he had eyes on something more interesting than myself!
Turned out he wanted to catch a squirrel that was harmlessly cavorting in the trees behind me and I had an entertaining few minutes watching the exchange between owl and squirrel! The owl flew to several different vantage points intent on adding squirrel to his prey list! He flopped around all over the place, but was ultimately unsuccessful in his quest – too bad!
After all this excitement the owl flew to a more distant perch and sat out the rest of the evening preening and generally enjoying the remaining evening sunshine. It was a peaceful spot and it was quite easy to be “lost in birds” for a little while. I was glad I’d lugged my tripod along on this occasion as I couldn’t have got any photos without it as the light was somewhat low. I was well pleased as this was a new bird for a certain list that is dear to my heart!
I didn’t see too many other birds as it was late in the day – Yellow-bellied Flycatcher and Gray-cheeked Thrush were as good as it got.