Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sundogs and Snowy Owls - November 19th, 2011

Sun rises late now - after 8:00am. I was having a coffee and asked Google if anyone had seen any owls near Calgary. This eventually led me to a birding site where someone had claimed to have seen a Snowy Owl a couple of days ago. I figured I should go look because it wasn`t far from my house.

I drove out east to Highway 9 then south towards Langdon. I didn't really see much and was getting a bit discouraged. The car was telling me that I was running low on gas so I started to head back towards home. I still kept to the back roads - looking for owls - when the air started to fog up with ice crystals. I noticed a pretty nice sundog around the sun so I stopped to take a few shots. It was pretty chilly out at -22degC so I wasn`t out of the car for long.

I like how the trees make shadows on the road and the texture of the dirt and the snow. I used a two stop hard graduated filter and a three stop soft grad to help darken the sky so there would still be some detail on the road.


Further down the road with the gas gauge on empty I saw what looked like a bump in the middle of a field. I wasn't sure what it was so I stopped and looked at it through my 300mm lens. It was a snowy owl! I got out of the car and made my way into the field. On my approach I took a few shots so I`d at least have something and then tried to get closer by walking in a zigzag kind of way.

Snowy Owl

All my zigzagging didn`t help as the owl flew off before I could get much closer but I was pretty happy nonetheless.

Thanks for looking