It was 2nd April & I had walked from Newburyport to Plum Island. I was scanning the saltmarshes from the high vantage point of the bridge & I felt very pleased with myself when I discovered two immature female Snowy Owls about a mile apart from each other & roughly the same distance from me. I tried digi-scoping & also took a couple of photos with my SLR telephoto combination, but the distance was really extreme. I was content to watch the birds through the telescope.
Female no 1.
Female no 2.
I suppose I must have been there a while & in my own little bubble, when a workman came across to chat to me. He politely asked me what I was doing & I told him I was trying to photograph Snowy Owls, but they were very distant. He then said why aren't you taking a picture of the close one? I asked him which one & he replied the one above your head! I looked up & nearly fell over! There right above me, was the most perfect immature male Snowy Owl I have ever seen!
The slightly closer bird
above my head!
He asked me again why I wasn't taking this birds photo? And quick as a flash I retorted that this bird was a male & I am only taking photos of females! (It was the best I could think of in the circumstances)!
I had to move further away to get a
better angle on the bird!
We chatted for some time & luckily for me, his friend came & picked him up in the truck. As soon as he was gone I was on this bird straight away! I reckon I took over 100 shots! The minutes I was talking to him were pure torture, as I expected the bird to fly away any second & I couldn't really take a shot of it could I?
I think I maybe should have told him the truth!
Photo courtesy of Ullrich Drews.
I walked further on, & by the end of the day had tallied 8 Snowy Owls! Five immature females & three immature males. Just amazing! This year has been the largest invasion of Snowy Owls for 30 years & I feel very privileged to have seen a small part of it.
What a day!