Thursday, August 18, 2016

Barred Owl Bath

This morning I read on a local eBird alert that someone had found Blue-winged Warbler. That didn't surprise me too much since I had one on my bird bath in August a couple of years ago, but there is nothing quite like a surprise visit from a a migrant at the bath to re-energize the excitement of bird photography.  So I resolved before going down to breakfast that I would set up a camera overlooking the bath for the coming season.

As I went into the kitchen, which looks out on said water feature, wow!  There stood a beautiful Barred Owl readying for a bath. Remarkably this top-of-the-food-chain predator (except of the Great Horned Owl) hesitated and looked around as if to judge if it was safe to bathe, just as a song bird would.  While all this preparation was taking place I sneaked off to the living room where I had a camera bag, assembled my gear, and then crept up behind a chair. Nevertheless the owl riveted its coal black eyes on my slinking and furtive movements while it was in the bath.

I had to shoot through glass into early morning shade, and then increase exposure two stops, but here are the results.

Note the owl garden statuary behind and in the lower right 
Still looking around

Never taking its eyes off me

Done; time to go.