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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Birds
Thread started 13 Mar 2017 (Monday) 23:18
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Great gray owl

 
ShadowHillsPhoto
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Schoharie, NY
Post has been last edited 9 months ago by ShadowHillsPhoto. 2 edits done in total.
Mar 13, 2017 23:18 |  #1

A friend and I made the trip from New York to New Hampshire on Sunday to see a great gray that has been reported there for the past couple of weeks. We got there around 9:30 and observed the owl perched about two feet off the ground against a hedgerow which it was using as a wind break. Temperatures throughout the morning were in the single digits, with a 20+ MPH wind out of the NW. We took a break for lunch and came back to the owl around 1:30 in the afternoon. The shooting conditions were terrible during the midday hours so we mostly just hung around and watched the rest of the people watching the owl. A couple of families with young children came by at different times so I placed my tripod and camera down low where the kids could look through the viewfinder and watch the owl on live view since at that point the owl was in the shade and was rather cryptic against the brush. I think it was around 3:30 or 4:00 when the owl finally left it's perch and began to move around the field hunting. Over the next 3 hours or so it gave us a number of different looks on a variety of perches as well as some pretty good flight opportunities, and I got to see it take at least two voles during that time. The forecast had been for clouds to move in during the afternoon but we were blessed with clear bluebird skies all day as well as a beautiful sunset and gorgeous light in the evening.

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3818/33273817792_0eb9f57ff6_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/SGi1​ME] (external link)Great Gray-2683 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/702/33273822252_4c6c73cf12_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/SGi3​7y] (external link)Great Gray-3372 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3911/32615367033_e4fa05f71b_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/RG7h​jn] (external link)Great Gray-2766 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2918/32615365733_ba9c2c0315_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/RG7g​VX] (external link)Great Gray-3445 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

In addition to fence posts, the owl took advantage of the odd unattended tripod for a makeshift perch a couple of times. The day before we were there it also decided to land on a woman's head (she was wearing a jacket with the hood up). Amazingly she kept her cool and remained still, and the owl spent two minutes surveying the field from atop her head. You can see what that looked like here (not my photo, obviously): https://flic.kr/p/Shju​xu (external link)

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3877/32586803584_50e779f97a_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/RDzT​p7] (external link)Great Gray-4460 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3917/33273819522_6eafcd51a2_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/SGi2​iu] (external link)Great Gray-4219 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3701/32615362103_18be375ea7_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/RG7f​Rn] (external link)Great Gray-4221 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/743/33273818392_6b2be55598_o.jpg
[IMAGE'S LINK: https://flic.kr/p/SGi1​Y1] (external link)Great Gray-4364 (external link) by Shadow Hills Photography (external link), on Flickr



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PhotosGuy
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Mar 13, 2017 23:23 |  #2

This is an excellent series & I admire your dedication in those temperatures!


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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Mar 13, 2017 23:34 |  #3

PhotosGuy wrote in post #18300366 (external link)
This is an excellent series & I admire your dedication in those temperatures!

Thanks! Other than the exposed portions of my face I was actually nice and toasty, and even my face didn't feel all that bad because my core was staying so warm. I posted a review of the new winter gear I've been using this year here: http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1​474797

It has been worth its weight in gold. Since posting that review I added a set of Carinthia's lightest insulated pants and jacket which I wore underneath the heavier set yesterday. When the wind died down a bit in the evening I was actually a bit overdressed and had to unzip the outer jacket to keep from overheating. During the afternoon when we were standing in the middle of an exposed field with 20+ MPH sustained winds and gusts that would occasionally push you off your feet I wasn't even the slightest bit chilly.




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cheffievrs
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Mar 14, 2017 04:58 |  #4

Fabulous images, Thanks for sharing. I think the last one would be my particular favourite.. A bird I would very much like to photograph in the wild myself.


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Wallace ­ River
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Mar 14, 2017 06:44 |  #5

Totally gorgeous series, congrats on setting out to find it, and finding it. Still on my to-do list.


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Lt ­ Colonel
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Mar 14, 2017 06:50 |  #6

Outstanding.


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TerryWSmith
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Mar 14, 2017 10:18 |  #7

Excellent series. You sure waited for that great light.

T.


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CaptBob
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Plantation Fl
Mar 14, 2017 11:57 |  #8

really awesome work- your time and effort paid off for sure


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IanD
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Montreal, Canada
Mar 14, 2017 12:28 |  #9

Excellent images of a regal bird. Our winter visitors are slowly but surely leaving for their nesting grounds. Hopefully, more will come South next winter.


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PhotosGuy
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Mar 14, 2017 13:34 |  #10

ShadowHillsPhoto wrote in post #18300373 (external link)
Thanks! Other than the exposed portions of my face I was actually nice and toasty, and even my face didn't feel all that bad because my core was staying so warm. I posted a review of the new winter gear I've been using this year here: http://photography-on-the.net .../showthread.php?t=1​474797

It has been worth its weight in gold. Since posting that review I added a set of Carinthia's lightest insulated pants and jacket which I wore underneath the heavier set yesterday. When the wind died down a bit in the evening I was actually a bit overdressed and had to unzip the outer jacket to keep from overheating. During the afternoon when we were standing in the middle of an exposed field with 20+ MPH sustained winds and gusts that would occasionally push you off your feet I wasn't even the slightest bit chilly.

Thanks for the link & the clothing thread. I fixed your title.


FrankC - 20D, RAW, Manual everything...
Classic Carz, Racing, Air Show, Flowers.
Find the light... A few Car Lighting Tips, and MOVE YOUR FEET!
Have you thought about making your own book? // Need an exposure crutch?
New Image Size Limits: Image must not exceed 1280 pixels on any side.

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ShadowHillsPhoto
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Mar 14, 2017 22:42 |  #11

cheffievrs wrote in post #18300504 (external link)
Fabulous images, Thanks for sharing. I think the last one would be my particular favourite.. A bird I would very much like to photograph in the wild myself.

Wallace River wrote in post #18300546 (external link)
Totally gorgeous series, congrats on setting out to find it, and finding it. Still on my to-do list.

Thanks! This was my second great gray of the winter and second time seeing one in person period. Don't think it's something I'll get tired of any time soon.

Lt Colonel wrote in post #18300552 (external link)
Outstanding.

Thank you!

TerryWSmith wrote in post #18300702 (external link)
Excellent series. You sure waited for that great light.

T.

CaptBob wrote in post #18300773 (external link)
really awesome work- your time and effort paid off for sure

It was a long day for sure, but worth it. As it turned out we could have left my place around noon instead of six in the morning but with the forecast it seemed like we should try to get there early. We almost left at 6PM but once we saw how nice the light was getting there was no doubt we were staying until the end.

IanD wrote in post #18300806 (external link)
Excellent images of a regal bird. Our winter visitors are slowly but surely leaving for their nesting grounds. Hopefully, more will come South next winter.

Thanks! I'm hoping to get a few more days in with some of the winter birds but I'm looking forward to nesting peregrines and eagles in the near future too.

PhotosGuy wrote in post #18300873 (external link)
Thanks for the link & the clothing thread. I fixed your title.

Thanks for taking care of that.




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cogs ­ v
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Portsmouth UK
Mar 15, 2017 12:43 |  #12

Fantastic series all great shots nice detail love the first inflight
Colin


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Daxiesmum
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Fareham, Hampshire UK
Mar 16, 2017 04:12 |  #13

Really beautiful photography. Wonderful!


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SJC ­ from ­ VT
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USA/Northeast
Mar 16, 2017 12:31 |  #14

Great shots of the infamous Great Gray of NH! I have seen lots of photos of this Owl in Vermont Facebook groups, but I didn't make the journey to see it myself. Well done, and good for you for traveling the distance!


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EricD61
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Joined Mar 2017
Mar 17, 2017 19:42 |  #15

super shots! This Owl is on my bucket list!




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