Thursday, December 26, 2013

Fog Rise Owl

This morning we had a typical Southern Puget Sound "fog rise". Cold clear nights under a high pressure front leading to thick fog in the mornings. It was 8 AM, light enough to see but too gray to see colors as I stepped outside to let my ducks out of their hut. Two Steller's Jays were screaming from the Filbert tree over the hut. This happens nearly every morning. I had figured it was a local Barred Owl or Cooper's Hawk roosting in Cedars behind the a Filbert tree.

As I peered over the gate into the duck's yard my eyes locked on a visitor's eyes.

The Jays were harassing him/her from the cover of the Filbert but it was too dark to see them. I quietly pulled back from the gate and rushed into the house to grab the camera.

S/he was still there when I got back!

The camera was on a preset I had programmed just for this situation. Through my big lens these pictures were taken at 1/15 of a second with the ISO pushed up to 3200. If you don't know what that means that's OK. It was dark. Many of the pictures I took were blurred and deleted.

So after bracing the camera on the fence for the good stills I got I took a chance with a flash.

Cool. Still there. One more.

Three more jays arrived and the owl was surrounded. At the trunk of the tree to the left of the owl's head is a jay in the shadows.

Blur away.

S/he moved deep into the cover of the cedars. They jays kept up their harassment well past 10am before moving on.


RMS said...

Wonderful photos-- always good to have your camera ready.

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

Great photo! I am so upset that these beautiful creatures, we have a breeding pair at our area and enjoy their yearly trio of young, are being killed to allow for the spotted owls to make a comeback. Too bad they appear to be the most adaptable and suffer for it.