Are We Walking to Alaska

Are We Walking to Alaska
Are We Walking to Alaska - A True Story

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Whooo is that?

Lovely day yesterday - sunny - 79 degrees - perfect summer weather.  When Don got home from work he wanted to go on a picnic - so off we went - to one of our favorite spots - a small park just outside town, on a bluff overlooking Bellingham Bay.

As we approached, I saw a hawk fly up and land on the wires along the road.  We quickly parked, facing away from the bay - facing the hawk.  I had my camera out, lens cap off and ready to shoot - because we all know that a hawk only sits for a few moments and I wanted this view - the setting sun shining on the front of the hawk.

Point the camera, focus, zoom in - wait. That is not a hawk - that is an OWL.   Forget the picnic - forget eating - forget everything - how often do I get a chance to photograph an owl in such perfect light?


A Barred Owl




He's looking for his dinner


From the back - that pattern of feathers would be hard to find if he was in the woods on a tree branch


In the sunlight he is easy to spot.  The general habit of a barred owl is to fly away if approached closely, but the one seemed to be used to the traffic on the road and in and out of the park


The bar design on the front of the body, right below the face, is where the name "barred" comes from


He flew down to the ground, but didn't stay long, so I only got one picture of him in the grass

Back up on the wire - still looking for food




He would walk along the wire from time to time


Then he flew down to a low post of the fence around the park


And into an apple tree



The setting sun was beginning to reflect off his feathers.  I couldn't have asked for more perfect lighting.


Thank you owl !









27 comments:

Franni said...

He is awesome. I love our camera!!!

Gunilla Bäck said...

How wonderful! Lucky you! He's absolutely gorgeous.

Buttons said...

Oh I can feel your joy and your heart beating fast as you caught every moment. Great shots. B

J said...

Amazing! Not only the sighting but the "perfect storm" of lighting and having him/her hang around long enough for you to take a gallery of different poses! I guess I never thought that an owl would ever land on the ground to just go browsing for a snack. I have said it before, I know, but you always seem to be in the right place at the right time for some of the loveliest wildlife shots ever!

MitchyLR said...

Hi JoAnn!! Really wonderful shots of the Barred Owl!! You're so lucky, I've never had the chance to photograph a wild owl, just ones in sanctuaries.

The Weaver of Grass said...

These are brilliant photographs JoAnn - we don't have the barred owl here in the UK - I suppose our nearest one is perhaps the tawny. We do have owls on the farm and hear them calling late at night in the scots pines by the side of the farmhouse. Lovely birds, aren't they

Lynn said...

oh my gosh this are outrageous, you lucky people so close so beautiful and he didn't appear to be too concerned with you, too lovely.

NatureFootstep said...

how nice to be able to follow the owl for such period of time. :)

Karen Frost said...

Oh, these are wonderful, JoAnn! I love that you captured him in so many different poses and especially in the little apple tree! The lighting is wonderful and that shot of him looking right into the camera is priceless! You must have been so excited when you downloaded the photos! What a beautiful bird and thank you for sharing him with us! xoxo

Jeanne said...

Wow... wow... wow!!! I think my favorite bird of all time is the Owl. This one is an absolute beauty. I know they are hard to catch with a camera. These shots are really special.

Judy at GoldCountryCottage said...

Oh, JoAnn. That has got to be a one of a kind shot! He is actually posing for you, I think, beautiful against the red apples. How great..Happy Thursday..Judy

Julie Fukuda said...

You usually think of owls as being night birds. The screech owls in Ohio and the Ural owls in Japan, most often visit at night. The barred owl, though, has greeted me in Oregon time after time. My son and his wife band owls and have outstanding photos. Those birds sure do know how to strike a pose.

eileeninmd said...

Hello JoAnn, cool sighting of the owl. They are neat birds and I love to see any kind of owl. Wonderful photos, he/she posed nicely for you!

Kay said...

Great photos! Another of your "right place, right time" series and how exciting to see this bird. Fabulous shots! I just read today that barred owls in northern Calif., Southern Ore., and I think the Ore. coast are going to be hunted to reduce their competition with the spotted owl which apparently doesn't hold up well in the same environment. I was kind of glad that they're not going to be doing that in Washington.

greenthumb said...

Lucky you, such a joyful time it must have been for you.

Stewart M said...

What a great looking bird - its been a while since I have a good look at an owl!

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Nancy Jo said...


JoAnn,
Nice to hear from you again. Great pictures, owls don't come out in the day very often
Nice tea cup collection too.
Nancy Jo

Rowan said...

Fabulous photos - you were definitely in the right place at the right time. The owl is really beautiful.

Bi Ti said...

Great photos Jo Ann, thanks for sharing and partying with us :)

Shey said...

Wowowow and in broad daylight plus open area too. I'm so jealous but happy for you!

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Great owl photos!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

What perfect timing and what wonderful images...I would say you were blessed! I see where you wrote that you were having your picnic...is that WA? I have friends that I met when they purchased a puppy from the same litter that we did and they live in WA. the very tip top NW part and possibly that town too ;) We will be driving with our 2 LCGS from KY to Olympic NP next month and I am so happy! I am glad that I stopped by~

Nancy said...

Beautiful bird -- how exciting for you!

tradgardssurr said...

Lucky you! An owl, How awsome!

Christa atCedarmereFarm said...

Hi JoAnn,
WOW! What a treat. It is gorgeous! I bet you wished you also had a video camera with you.
Christa

Christa atCedarmereFarm said...

Hi JoAnn,
WOW! What a treat. It is gorgeous! I bet you wished you also had a video camera with you.
Christa

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi Jo An What a wonderful find and brilliant shots of him and better than any picnic!