We saw the owl! We saw him! We saw him! Can you tell that I'm excited? That's because we saw the owl! LOL This afternoon the Island King and I decided to go owling for a while. We've been so many times and have only heard him so neither one of us really expected to see him today but luck was on our side. And it had to have been luck because we made several mistakes before we finally got a good look at him.
We got to the property earlier today than we've gotten there before and we were standing next to the truck talking when we heard a hoot. It sounded like the owl was way off in the woods but still on the property so we grabbed the camera and started through the woods.
The Island King tells me to be really quiet so we don't startle him when we get close so as soon as we stepped into the woods we started watching the ground to be sure we weren't stepping on sticks or anything that would be loud. From the sound of the hoot we thought he was way off in the distance and neither one of us were looking up in the trees at all.
We should have been because while his hoot may have sounded really far off, he was actually sitting on a limb just inside the woods. We must have startled him because all of a sudden he took off. He was gorgeous! Large and majestic with brown, tan and gold feathers and absolutely silent. He didn't make a sound as he glided through the woods. He flew low and in and around the trees and let me tell you - it was fantastic to watch.
And because we saw him fly we were able to watch where he went. He flew to the other side of the woods and landed in a large pine tree that we've heard him hooting in on several other occasions.
We were off to the other side of the woods, knowing this time that we needed to be looking up the whole time LOL And then we saw him! The Island King spotted him and once I knew where to look I saw him too. He sat there looking at us while we looked at him.
But when the Island King raised the camera he took off.
I had the video camera running and was able to get a flash of him as he flew back into the thicket.
And we followed. This time he was sitting way out on a branch right at the edge of a clearing and he was stunning. I mean a really, really beautiful bird. The Island King raised the camera and as he snapped the shutter the camera died. Battery dead. What?! You've got to be kidding! He tells me that he's going back to the truck to change the battery and I said I would stay where I was so if the owl flew off I would know which way he went.
I stood there for a good 3 minutes, just staring at him. And he stared right back at me. It was 3 minutes that rank right up there with swimming with manatee, swimming with wild dolphins and climbing to the top of Diamond Head on Oahu.
And then a loud truck went by out on the street and the owl flew back to the pine tree it had been in earlier.
The Island King returned with fresh batteries in the camera and I told him where the owl had gone so off we went. But we were busy talking about seeing the owl and again, not looking up, so we walked right past him. Which startled him because he flew to another tree not far away.
That's the 2nd time we've seen him fly low and through the woods like that and it really is amazing how fast and silent owls are. We laughed and decided to stop talking and start looking up again and just as we did the Island King spotted him.
And got a picture!
The camera is broken (that's another post) so the picture certainly isn't a high quality shot but we got him. Because the picture is bad you just can't begin to see how beautiful he is.
So we've seen the owl. We're going to come back with the new camera next week and see if we can get some really good photos of him but for today I'm a happy camper.