Monday, November 14, 2011

Who's watching me?

Sandhill Cranes haven't left Pheasant Branch Conservancy yet and won't until December, but they return at the end of February. Only three months! That doesn't seem that far off, actually. It makes the approaching winter somehow seem more bearable. Yesterday, I walked the relatively leafless November woods, enjoying a melodious duet between Fox Sparrows. Among the goldfinches, tree sparrows, cardinals, chickadees, and woodpeckers, I heard the delicate call of a Brown Creeper. When I turned to look for it, I noticed a large bird was watching me. Concealing its big dark eyes, the Barred Owl's eyelids were half open, but it was very much awake. Pretending not to notice the owl, I calmly prepared my digiscoping rig. For over a decade there's been a Barred Owl pair at this particular spot at the conservancy and I felt certain I've photographed this bird before. Coming upon an owl in the woods is always a special experience and once content with my views and photos, I let it be.

Pheasant Branch, Dane, US-WI
Nov 13, 2011 11:15 AM - 12:30 PM
30 species

Canada Goose
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Sandhill Crane
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Pigeon
Mourning Dove
Barred Owl
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Blue Jay
American Crow
Black-capped Chickadee
Tufted Titmouse
White-breasted Nuthatch
Brown Creeper
American Robin
Cedar Waxwing
American Tree Sparrow
Fox Sparrow
White-throated Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Northern Cardinal
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch
Pine Siskin
American Goldfinch
House Sparrow

Barred Owl © 2011 Mike McDowell