I made a trip up to Anacortes to help someone out with a project. I was surprised when I got up there that it was a really lovely day when it was cold and rainy back at home. I think there is a line just south of Mount Vernon where the weather changes dramatically. I had heard a few of the other photographers at Juanita Bay discussing the owls that were up in the Skagit Flats and, since I was coming near that area on my way back, I figured I would stop by to see if I could see any owls.
I had an idea of the location and put it in to the GPS but I didn’t know how obvious the spot would be. As it turned out, when I got there, the large number of parked vehicles on the side of the road gave it away. I pulled off the road, got out the 500mm and waited. Nothing obvious happened for a while. I had to get back for work so didn’t have a ton of time but I was hoping that I would see something. Then I saw someone nearby perk up and looked across to see if there was anything going on.
Sure enough, an owl was scooting across the open land north of me. The light was great and looking at this little creature was so much fun. Even with a long lens, it was not a big target and it kept dropping down low where the cluttered background made the camera struggle to keep focus on such a small object. Even so, it was possible to get a few shots.
The owl was flying towards me so I kept thinking it would get closer and bigger. What I hadn’t counted open was that there was a strong southerly breeze and so it was effectively staying in the same place. Crap! Never mind. I was still tracking it when something flicked across the viewfinder. Turns out there was a second owl crossing in front and definitely closer. I quickly picked it up and it allowed me to get a few shots before it went off to another area further away.
This whole process continued for a while before I figured I really needed to get going again. I would have been quite happy to sit up there for a long time watching the owls and waiting for them to get closer but I did need to get back. As it turned out, when I got back, there was some urgent stuff to fix so I wasn’t wrong to leave but it was disappointing to pass up the opportunity. I wonder whether the conditions will be so good again when I am able to go up.