Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Screech Owl! - 14 Dec 2008

Its Sunday morning, 5 am, and I'm standing in the rain/sleet at the foot of the boat launch at Sterling State Park in Monroe. Why? Its day 1 of the 109th National Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count period and its the Monroe, MI CBC count date.

Between rain drops and cups of coffee I'm making Screech Owl calls w/ the hope of calling one in. At 5:30 I heard the plaintive tremolo of a Screech Owl and grabbed the camera, hoping to get a photo. I had velcroed a small fisherman's flashlight to my 400mm Sigma with the hope of being able to illuminate any owls enough to focus and subsequently photograph using a Nikon SB800 and Better Beamer flash extender. Unfortunately for me the light was too dim and I was unable to see the owl through the viewfinder, even though it was perching out in the open just a few feet from me. So I grabbed a regular flashlight and held it between my knees, and focused the beam on the bird long enough to get this photo. Woo-hoo!

I'll have a complete report on the Monroe, MI CBC shortly.

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