Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Great Gray Owl

Happy New Year to everyone!  This post today is all about how I spent the last couple of days, so if you were hoping for a card post I'm sorry to disappoint you but I have something exciting to share with you.

If you live in the surrounding area of SW Ontario, I'm sure you would of heard about this rare visit from the Great Gray Owl, so now I will tell you our experience seeing her.

So yesterday morning Bill and I headed down to Kingsville ON to see the Great Gray Owl.  Now this owl is not common to our area, her (I was told it was a female, so I'm sticking with that for now!) home is north of Lake Superior.  How she arrived  here is unknown. Whether she got off the path or caught up in heavy winds and blown down this way I guess we will never know.

So we pulled up on Road 2(country road) in Kingsville around 7:40 am and there were about 1/2 dozen cars or so.  Got out of the car, Bill grabbed is camera and walked down to where everyone was standing taking pictures.  I looked over at the tree and OMG I was in awe!  There she sat, the most beautiful, stunning bird I have seen.  I just starred at her, I could of cried I was so overwhelmed.  After about 10 min or so, she flew over about 20ft or so and landed on a post in the ditch, so we all moved across the road, so those taking pictures could get a better view.  A few more people arrived, and and she just sat there as if she was posing for us.  She then decide to move again, and this time she flew straight at me!! I literally had to duck as she flew over my head, behind some houses and down the road. All I could see was these 2 eyes coming for me.  Holy cow!

So the rest of the day until about 4ish we followed her along the road with everyone else as she moved from perch to perch.  She did not seem bothered with people, vehicles, noise etc, she didn't spook easy like some birds and animals.  We saw her dive to the ground  a couple of times as she pounced on a mouse and devoured it right in front of us - that's basically what they live on - mice and moles.

Today Jan 1 - Bill and I went back and we were the 2nd car to come upon her.  She was stunning as she sat on a lower branch on the edge of forest along McCain Road. It wasn't long before a crowd of spectators joined us. The rain had stopped just before we arrived, the sun tried to peak out a bit and about an hour later she flew away back towards where she was yesterday.  It started to rain at that point so Bill and I called it a day and headed home.

We met some great people over these two days  from as far away as New Hampshire, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, as well as Southern and SW Ontario.

The first 3 pictures are from today, the last 3 are from yesterday.  So many to pick from, these were some of my favourites.

On the way home we took the scenic route through Wheatley and came across this duck:

So there you have it, my story of the Great Gray Owl.


LindaH said...

WOW! What a great experience and such fantastic pics to remember it by! you two are SO LUCKY to have been a part of this!

LindaH said...

FYI....sending this post link to mark to forward to his photographer buddy! I gotta go look at those pics again cause she is so,beautiful.

paulatracy said...

She is beautiful and I agree with Linda, how lucky to see her so close! I can see why all those others traveled to see her and get some cool photos. Tell Bill his pictures are gorjuss! Hard to pic a fav, but the one where she is kinda looking behind her back is really neat. Thanks for sharing you few days travels! Miss ya girls.

Ebru Vatansever said...

What an experience, lucky she did not land on your head. The photos are gorgeous just like what the girls said, my favorite is first one. Thanks for sharing your awesome story. Happy New year Btw !!

Violet said...

A professional photographer could not have taken better pictures! Beautiful. So lucky you were to have such an experience. If hubby wasn't still sick I'm sure we would be going down there too.

Birders refer to this as a "lifer"...a bird you are lucky to see only once in your life. We have only seen one "lifer" ourselves but alas, not picture at the time we saw the orange variant tanager.


Leslie Miller said...

Oh, my gosh, the pictures are fabulous and she is beautiful! I really enjoyed your story as I appreciate and am awed by these things of nature, too. I would have loved that experience. I'm glad to hear she seemed at ease and is continuing to feed. What a great start to the new year!

Anonymous said...

When I heard about this owl on the news I wondered if you and Bill would be heading out there. Gorgeous pictures. Lucy