Over the week-end of Saturday, 01-02-21 to Monday, 01-04-21 I went on a little road trip looking for the Great Gray Owl to photograph. So on Saturday I drove up to the area north of Two Harbors, MN. I heard of some sighting, but I missed seeing any of those owls.
Later in the afternoon I drove over to the Sax-sim Bog to see if I could find any GGO’s over there. I have been there a few times already this winter and usually spend some time on South Overton west of Owl Ave. The last trip to the bog I saw a Great Gray hunting further back in the woods, but I wasn’t able to get a shot of it. I know other people have seen owls in that area as well.
Once I got cell service again I checked the “chat group” for any owl sightings in the bog and saw there was an GGO spotted on South Overton earlier in the morning, but it was to the east of Owl Ave. When I got to the area I made a right turn off of Owl Av to go west on South Overton where I planned to look for the owl, but before I made my turn I noticed a couple cars to the east. After I drove the length of South Overton I turned around and found a place where I would sit when a couple of people pulled up and asked if I had seen anything. I explained to them that I just got to the bog and they continued on their way.
Later, the same couple came by and said there was an owl to the east on South Overton and it had been there for 45 minutes or so. That was about the time when I saw the cars to the east when I turned to go west. Since I was about a mile from there I drove over and saw a few cars and photographers. I noticed a GGO on the top of one of the power poles. I walked over with my camera and tripod. I believe when I looked at my watch when I was parked it was 04:15 pm so the light was going to be fading fast.
I took a few static shots, then decided to crank up my ISO to see if I could capture any flying shots, since the owl was actively hunting.
I pushed the ISO between 10,000 to 20,000 to get enough shutter speed to capture the flying shots.
Now the light had disappeared and the fog was moving in so it was time to stop photographing. I had to drive all the way down the dead end road so I could turn around. While almost to the end of the road I had to stop for another vehicle in front of me because someone was taking some landscape shots. When I stopped behind them I looked up and saw the owl immediately to my left sitting on top of a power pole. I reached for my camera and took a couple shots. I was almost too close to get the complete owl in the picture, but it was taken with an ISO of 20,000.
On Sunday I set up in my Suburban on the same road as seen in the one image at 07:15 am waiting to see if the owl was out and about. Well, I didn’t see it.
On Monday, 01-04-21, I set up in the same spot at 07:15 am again waiting for the owl. This time the owl landed in the dead tree which was 30 yards directly in front of my vehicle at 07:38 am. This was one of the first pictures I took of the owl after it landed in the tree. It was like the owl was saying, Ok…I’ve arrived. Lets get this photo session going!