Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Guelph Lake Barred Owl

I know, most of you have probably seen a whole lot of pictures of this bird (and maybe some of you have seen the actual bird), but yesterday was my first time seeing and photographing it! This wasn't actually my first time trying for it though...

Adrian Helmers and I headed up yesterday with bright sunshine and clear skies - a good sign for trying to photograph the owl! Last time we wandered around the entire area, searching what seemed like every last tree but with no luck. This time, however, we had barely gotten 100 yards in when we spotted a photographer pointing his camera upwards. Following the line, we spotted the owl sitting in a tree not 50 feet away! We spent the next hour observing it looking around and preening before it settled down for a nap and we decided to leave it alone.

The Barred Owl with an injured left eye

Having a bit of a preen before bed

We then cruised around some of the fields north of the lake, managing to turn up a number of Horned Larks singing away, a Northern Shrike, and a lone Snow Bunting. On the way home, I stopped by a pond that has apparently held a Great Blue Heron in the last few weeks but it was completely frozen over so no luck there.

Later today I'm headed off to Kingston to visit my brother and hopefully do some birding in a new county or two so stay tuned for a post upon my return!

Another King Eider shot from Saturday


6 comments:

Stuart Immonen said...

Glad to see that owl's eye is in better shape. Great pics, too.

dwaynejava said...

David, great photos. I'm drooling with jealousy with this owl. I've never seen a Barred Owl! If it sticks around till June, I might try for it on my next trip towards Toronto and beyond.

David Bell said...

Thanks! Dwayne, Barred Owls are fairly common breeders further north - try calling them in anywhere with good habitat. I don't know any specific sites around here for them but they probably do breed!

ljb said...

Great owl pic big guy! Keep posting ...I love reading about your birding adventures.

Adrian Helmers said...

I'm so happy we finally got to see the owl! Thanks for taking me out! Looking forward to reading about your future birding adventures.

Bob Hilscher said...

Hi there. Great pictures of the Barred Owl, and yes, I love seeing pics of it! I live in Toronto, and this past weekend, my wife, Jean, and I came upon a Barred Owl in Rouge National Park, near Markham, Ontario. This was the second time in six weeks that we have come upon, and filmed, an owl out in the wilds. The first was a Saw-Whet Owl. Prior to these two sightings, we had never seen an owl in its natural habitat. Needless to say, it has been an exciting six weeks. Our pictures and video of the Barred Owl sighting are posted on our blog at: http://frametoframe.ca/photo-essay-barred-owl-sighting-markham-ontario/

Our pictures and video of the Saw-Whet Owl sighting are at: http://frametoframe.ca/photo-essay-northern-saw-whet-owl-sighting/