I saw my first owl in 2010. It flew across the road I was on in the DWGNRA & landed deep in the woods. I was able to get 2 shots that I could ID it and found out it was a Barred Owl. When I got home I read they live in a 1 square mile area so I went back up the next evening with my bird call & within 5 minutes had one come right in. It was incredible to see them up close. Awesome to see every time.
First sighting. June 3, 2010
A few weeks later & both showed up. June 23, 2010
Went back on November 18 & one came right in.
First try in 2011. May 1
After not seeing them in 2012, I tried in early 2013. I got them to respond but they wouldn't show themselves. Then on April 25 after a series of calls, one flew right in. I was lucky to get a couple shots before I let them be. Glad to see they are still there.
This was on my all time list of birds I never thought I'd ever see in the wild. I knew people that had gotten pics of them before in the Walkill River NWR but I had never seen one. Then in winter of 2014 I was in right place right time when the other birders spotted one in their scopes. I saw it fly thru some trees and started firing away. Out of 40 shots I only got one that was ok. Even though I cropped it a lot it was good enuff for me! I hope to see one again & get better shots.
Great Horned Owl
One of my bucket list birds to get a photo of has been the Great Horned Owl. I had never seen one despite my trying in the DWGNRA many times. One day I pulled into my friends driveway just at dark & saw a big bird fly back in his woods, I knew it had to be an owl so I called to it & sure enuff it called back. It was a Great Horned! I decided to come back 5 days later an hour before sunset and call to it. After only 5 minutes he called back! I couldn't believe it. After another 20 minutes of back & forth calling, he swooped in & landed in the tree right next to me. I only had less then a minute to snap a couple pics and he was gone. Really awesome experience. Nothing in the world that gets the adrenaline going then encountering a Great Horned Owl in the wild.
July 17, 2012
July 27, 2012
The cold weather in December 2012-January 2013 brought down the raptors to the Walkill River NWR, including these incredible owls. I only got a few shots but it was enough for me. These guys are awesome to see. There were up to 6 in the air at one time. Really feel lucky to see them as they only come down to our area for a few weeks a year. In 2014 they were really visible in daylight hours although far away for me. Got a couple shots that were decent though.
In late 2013 something magical happened. Snowy Owls started popping up all over the region. They were in NY, PA & NJ. I found one close by in Pine Island, NY & another at Edwin B. Forsythe NWR in south jersey. I was not disappointed. Never thought Id ever see this bird in the wild. So privileged to get the opportunity to photograph such an awesome bird.
Eastern Screech Owls
After years of trying I finally saw my first screech owl in an old wood duck box on the same road as my house. The first year there was a red version in the box but the next was a cool grey one. I put a couple boxes out in my yard but haven't enticed one to live there.