Today is Superb Owl Sunday so here’s a superb owl from 2011, the last time the snowy owls came to visit.
It was a couple of years ago that I first read someone’s post pointing out that the hashtags for “Superbowl Sunday” and “Superb Owl Sunday” were identical. I much prefer superb owls to the Superbowl, so I decided to follow suit and post a “superb owl” photo. I missed it last year but decided to post another today to mark the occasion. I don’t have many owl photos to choose from so I went back to December 2011 when the snowy owls spent the winter in Boundary Bay.
Looking back at those photos, I am appalled at the behaviour of some of the photographers, marching over the marshes to get closer to those birds that had perched further away from the dyke. That was despite warning signs to stay away from them. Some of the owls were startled into flight, which is goes against everything you ever learn about being a wildlife photographer. I guess they felt they had to justify the thousands of dollars’-worth of gear they’d bought somehow.
I’m also struck at how fortunate we were to have such good weather for photography, the golden afternoon sunlight on the reeds and grasses making for a beautiful warm contrast to the stark white of the owl. The only disadvantage with that was that the owls were (understandably) squinting in the bright sun so we couldn’t quite get to see those gorgeous yellow eyes. But that’s a small price to pay really to witness these beautiful birds in their natural (if not entirely native) habitat.
The photo was shot at full telephoto (200 mm = 300 mm 35-mm equivalent) and then quite heavily cropped. Even a lowly 12 Mp camera has enough pixels to crop quite closely for Instagram purposes 🙂 I must confess I would like a 20+ Mp sensor with a longer lens for wildlife photography but it’s hard to justify that kind of expense for a setup that would see only occasional use. Maybe one day…