Monday, March 9, 2009

Gyrfalcon & Great Gray Owl

Last Saturday , I joined a group from the Nature Society on a trip looking for Owls in the Shell Lake and Spiritwood areas.
My friend Marten picked me up at 6:35 and we were looking for Owls by 8am.
The weather , although promised to be sunny, ended up being windy and quite cold.
We ended up with a very respectable 26 species of birds and 3 mammals when we were all done, and I finally got to see my first ever Gyrfalcon and my 4th Great Gray Owl.

Other highlights on the trip include:

Northern Hawk Owl
Great Horned Owl
Northern Goshawk
Bald Eagle
Pine Grosbeak
Hoary Redpoll

Here are a couple of photos :

Gyrfalcon - My camera did not want to focus in the low light and the bird was a good distance away, but I did the best I could considering the poor conditions. I'm just happy I have proof of this fantastic Dark-morph Gyr.

Great Gray Owl - This owl swooped in close and I fired off 2 shots before it flew off into some trees to sit at its favorite perch :


Tina said...

I am a little envious of your pictures of these awesome creatures..they are wonderful captures..esp that close up of the gray owl! WoW! I guess the wind and cold you endured was worth it..look what you saw! :))

Nick S said...

Thanks Tina. The weather as per usual here in Sk in the winter , was pretty terrible, but of course, its well worth the effort to see our beautiful wildlife.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Each picture is fantastic.Both birds are ones that I have yet to see.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick,

I'm surprised at how dark the head is on the Gyrfalcon. I always see the white phase so I don't have much to go on but it strikes me as odd.

And would you please take my B-in-law with you next time you are after owls. I think he has missed them so far this year.

Nick S said...

Thanks guys. Take a look in the Sibley Guide To Birds to see some different colour-morphs of the Gyrfalcon.
They even have a Brown-phase, but a White one is what I would love to see.

holdingmoments said...

Stunning looking owl.

Kim said...

Love the owl pictures but absolutely ADORE the pictures of the Gyrfalcon! I have a thing for falcons and don't know much about them so love to see pictures of the different types.

I never have that kind of luck w/ owls. Really nice shots!

The Birdlady said...

Stunning! (Your best is THE best!)

NCmountainwoman said...

Absolutely fantastic photographs. Just wonderful.

Nick S said...

Thanks for the kind words guys.

Jayne said...

Low light, smow light! They are gorgeous Nick!

Peggy said...

2 GREAT raptors! The Great Gray so close up is so cool! Congrats on these amazing finds!

Philip said...

Stunning Nick outstanding photography as allways :) big 10/10 from me!!

Suzanne said...

The gryfalcon is gorgeous. He or she looks very powerful. And I love the owl pictures. Thanks so much, Nick.

Nick S said...

Thanks everyone, much appreciated.

John Theberge said...

Wow, great shots of the owl. How lucky that it swooped in and posed for a couple of shots.