Out Owling

I was out today with Claude up from Toronto and we were looking for owls, Snowy Owls to be exact. I met Claude in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue and we set off for Mirabel, stopping on the highway 40 service road to admire the first Snowy of the day. It was a heavily barred immature and was attracting the attention of a couple boisterous crows. The bird sat tight for a while, bobbing and weaving before getting bored with them and flying straight at us. I rattled a few shots of pretty indifferent quality but you get the idea.

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Mirabel sits next to highway 15 but is a little tranquil area with only the odd fornicator or dope blowers to contend with making it the idea spot to spend time really enjoying the birds. Sleety rain welcomed us to the spot but the birds still put on a show. There were a few Snow Buntings around and we found the out-of-season Eastern Meadowlark as it scuttered along the road edge snaffling who knows what. We found four Snowy Owls, perhaps five. Initially the owls were distant; one sat imperiously on a telegraph pole but was not so keen on us, preferring to glide off out into the wastes.

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Taking another route we came across a lovely bird sitting on a roof just off the road. This bird was bomb-proof and let us really take in the beauty of it, both visually and digitally.

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Retracing our steps we met more snowies including a very dark immature that had found a nice little mound to sit on. Claude was set up to take some digiscoped images, managed to get a couple then the bird took flight and flew right over us, it must have seen something because we were roundly ignored.

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If the abundance of Snowy Owls continues it is going to be a very enjoyable winter, I look forwards to enjoying quite a few more.

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