I was talking to Blake earlier this week about the possibility of having a 5 owl species day in Essex County, and he suggested 6 is possible and has been done! (Great Horned, Eastern Screech, Long Eared, Short Eared, Snowy, Saw-Whet)... So could you imagine 7 species???? This is my third lifer this month, and all three have been owls: Snowy (1), Short eared (2) and now Great Grey (3).
Upon arrival to the site, many familiar nature lovers were present (and were leaving) as the sun had just set at 5:15pm. Paul Pratt shared his scoped views of this magnificent boreal species and informed me that this is the first record for a Great grey Owl in Essex! Kory and Sarah from Leamington also shared some photos that they had taken during the daylight hours of this incredible bird which had me drooling with jealousy.
Even though it was futile, I took photos of the owl in the dark, at 80-100 meters. To get the shot above, I needed to use a tripod, and set a 2-second auto-timer so that I was not even touching the camera during the exposure, shut off IS, ISO1600, Ap 1/6.3, exposure time 1/10sec, and I held my breath... This photo even had the exposure increased by +1. Flash is never used on an owl.
An exciting lifer at #290.
Read more about the Great Grey Owl...
PS: Other birds seen this week include, Rough-legged Hawk, Sandhill Cranes (100 flying overhead), Bald Eagle, Northern Mockingbird, and 40 or so Wild Turkeys!