Saturday, October 10, 2009

Barred Owl, Cooper's Hawk(?), and good-fail shots.

I came upon an owl this morning at Jericho Park, and was elated. No other word for it. Later, a man told me it was a Barred Owl. I've looked in my book and think he was correct. It's my very first sighting ever!
The walk began with little birds singing all around me, but it seemed, the trees were empty. I just couldn't locate the source of the songs. I was happy, finally, to spot this little one in the tall grasses, even though I couldn't identify it.
Black Jack and I checked out the rabbit bushes, and walked the trails at the back of the park for quite some time, and finally took the wooded trail to 4th Avenue, heading homeward. A very persistent and loud bird call, one that I hadn't noticed before, slowed us down. (I'm convinced Black Jack enjoys tiptoeing along with me, when I go into hunt mode.) I looked up, and up, and up, until my neck ached. The call came every few seconds, and each time, I felt sure I would see the bird. Eventually, we were off the path, stepping into a mess of thickets and roots and sometimes grasses, still trying to locate the source of the call. Finally, I stepped on a fallen branch, and the loud crack caused the bird to fly to a tree along the path. I was never able to get a clear photograph, but it was in my effort to get its picture, that I came across the owl. Thank you to that bird! I've looked in my book, and have a feeling it may be a Cooper's Hawk. It never came out of the shadows, and I had to lighten this shot to post it, but could it be that I've identified it correctly? If so, then there were two firsts in one day.
A failed photograph, but the only one that shows its eye, and I count it as a good-fail shot.
Another failed shot. I was trying to get the yellow flowers, but instead, got a fun color mix.
I missed the bird's head in this one, but love the veins in the leaf at the centre.
This tree is on the North-West corner of Alma Street and 4th Avenue. It's absolutely beautiful. I'm going to try and identify it when I get a chance. In the meantime, it will become another one of my little projects to try and do its beauty justice.
Thanksgiving Weekend and I am thankful.


  1. Wow Carol - that owl is amazing! What a lucky thing to get to see. I saw an owl once before at Jericho, but it certainly wasn't as spectacular as that one you've got. What a great start to a beautiful day. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. It astonishes me that you are able to find so many birds so close to home! After all, you live in a large urban area! I love the barred owl! Have a wonderful weekend! Phyllis

  3. Talk about coincidence - I saw my first barred owl this morning as I was taking the dogs for a walk to Crofton Lake - I swear it is the same guy you saw! LOL Unfortunately, my attempts at photographing him didn't come out nearly as well as yours!

    Don't you love the fall colours? That red tree is superb - such a cheerful sight.

  4. Thanks, Cristina, Phyllis and Jean and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

    I was very lucky and I know it:)

    Jean, that's quite the coincidence! I'd love to see the picture, and yes, the fall colours really make this time of year one of my favorites.

  5. I love the look of your owl friend there, Carol! That is one very awesome pic!

    I'm sure Black Jack loves to "hunt" with you. With what appears to be terrier in her background, it would be second nature to her.

    Wish I had your photography skills or simply remembered to take my camera with me more often...

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  7. I love your eagle shots too...berenice! (alias esiah!)

  8. What an amazing owl! I love your composition....berenice

  9. okay, i found the barred link. he's just the CUTEST thing! i love these owls!