It was a day of heavy rain a couple of weeks ago. Thoughts went into my head that perhaps the rain had brought some birds down and I could find them easier. As the storm was easing and passing through, I headed out to Patuxent Research Refuge – North Tract to see what I could find.
Driving through a tree canopy on the entrance road, a huge bird swooped in and landed just along the road in a small puddle. Whatever could it be? I think it’s an owl. But what kind of owl could it be? Is it a Short-Eared Owl? Is it a Barred Owl?
It was so close to the car on the passenger side, I couldn’t see it so backing up the car I watched the owl swoop up and land into a tree. I had backed up enough that I could get out and open up the back mostly unseen by the owl.
With my camera set up, I walked out and there he was. Sitting in a tree looking drenched from the rain.
Naturally, the owl knew of my presence far faster that I wanted to. But he didn’t seem too disturbed. Taking a few captures, the owl then flew to a better perch. It’s as if it knew it was time to pose for the paparazzi.
Take a few shots…get a little closer. Take a few more shots…get a little closer. He just calmly sat there for about ten minutes and I was able to photograph him to my heart’s content. In fact, I got about 20 feet away with my 500mm lens and decided it was close enough. Not wanting to disturb the owl too much, I turned and left him to dry off after the rain.
He quietly said goodbye to my retreating steps.