It’s been a long time since I’ve taken any volume of photos (May 2019 to be exact) and I’d forgotten how time consuming it is to go through images and rate them to determine which deserve editing. With other obligations for my time, I’ve only gotten through about 2/3rds of my images from my recent trip, on a first pass only. But, at least I am making progress. I reached the image I’m sharing today and decided to stop and edit it. I absolutely love owls, and it’s magical whenever there is an opportunity to see one. I was lucky enough to have one land outside my office window earlier this week, but as I was working I didn’t get any images. Maybe that is why this one stood out for me today.
On my recent tour, we were transferring from Hwange National Park to Tsowa Island in Zambezi National Park, and came upon a family of 3 Verreaux’s eagle owls. While they were quite high in the trees, there were still opportunities for good viewing and photos. I think I captured a few images with a least two of the family together, but I’m running out of day, so a single owl will have to do for today.
While I still haven’t gotten back into any type of routine with editing and posting, it feels good to be spending some time on this again.
I had forgotten I’d had this sighting of the barred owl; I’d taken a few quick images as it napped in the tree branches, and then forgot to download the images to my computer. If it weren’t for the raven sighting yesterday, they may have sat on there for quite some time.
Thankfully all the snow seen in this image is now gone, but sadly, it seems like sightings of the owl may be as well. But who knows, I could also get lucky with some springtime owl sightings.
This barred owl seems to be having good success in the yard with either mice or shrews that are running around under the snow. It was also eyeing up the flock of pine siskins that have been around, but I haven’t seen it have any success in catching one of those – at least not while I have been watching.
I’ve been really fortunate to have a barred owl hanging around the yard for the past week. It’s been spending a significant amount of time around, and most of the time perched in one of the trees that is easily visible from the window in my office.
I managed to get a few images to share; even if it is around over the next few days, it is doubtful I’d be getting anything more than a shot through the window, with the temperatures plummeting here for the next week. I think my camera and I will be spending as much time indoors as possible!
I spotted a barred owl hanging out in the backyard a couple of days ago while I was having lunch. It spent a bit of time trying to hunt, and the rest trying to nap. It was -28C, so I took the photos through my window, as it was just too cold for me to get out to take a couple of pictures. Besides, Murphy’s Law would have kicked in, and by the time I got bundled up enough to head outside and take a few images, the owl would have flown away.
Thankfully things have warmed up a little bit here; still cold, but at least not bitterly cold. I hope your week ahead is looking up too 🙂
For the last few days, it has been very quiet around the yard in terms of bird life. While last weekend the chickadees, nuthatches and flickers seemed to be around non-stop, the past few days, even on my walks, I haven’t heard a twitter.
With birds on my mind, I decided to play around with some of my photo art edits for my post this week. This is a topic that I have worked on previously; if you missed some of the posts from a couple of months ago, here are two links to take a look at:
I recently saw a beautiful abstract painting of an owl, and it inspired me to work on some of my owl images in a different way. All of these were created in Topaz Studio, using a variety of different filters and techniques. It’s been a lot of fun playing around with these this week.
You can find these images, and lots of others, over on my gallery page.
Last week, I featured hornbills for my topic of the month, and this week, it is birds in the dark. I had started typing out birds at night, but one of the images was taken at daybreak, and I thought it best to try and be accurate 🙂
I was very fortunate to have several different owl sightings during my travels, as well as two nightjar sightings. The nightjars were by far the easiest to photograph, as they tend to lay in the road after dark, and if you are lucky you can drive the vehicle fairly close to them and use a spotlight. Owls are a more challenging one, unless you are lucky enough to find them very close to the road, and not spook them when driving up.
This past trip, the first owl sighting I had was on my first evening game drive, and it was rather exciting. I spotted this owl far away on a tree, and as we watched for a few moments, we realized it had a kill it was working on. The terrain made it impossible to drive any closer, so I had to do the best I could with a 400mm lens and a bit of cropping; the quality isn’t fantastic, but the moment was definitely memorable.
I had one eagle sighting while in the Timbavati, of a pearl-spotted owlet, but unfortunately by the time I got the attention of our ranger to stop, the owl was in flight and all I got was a butt shot as it flew away. And not even a decent butt shot; it’s completely blurry and not worth sharing. There’s always next time though 🙂
The rest of the sightings of birds in the dark all came while staying at Chitwa Chitwa with Harley as our guide. Harley really seemed to enjoy pointing out birds, and identifying the ones that I would randomly point at (generally small raptors which I still have a terrible time identifying).
The southern white-faced owl and the spotted eagle owl were seen within about 10 minutes of each other while heading back to camp for dinner; and then the pair of Verreaux’s eagle owls were spotted the following morning as we set off from camp.
Nightjar’s are a common bird to see on game drives at night, but a lot of times they fly away before you have a chance to capture a picture. This past trip, I was fortunate to have two sightings of different species that I could get decent images of.
I hope you enjoy my selections for the week. Wishing everyone a fantastic week ahead!