Thursday, April 14, 2016

Colleyville Nature Center: April 2016

I've been seeing pictures online of Barred Owls at the Colleyville Nature Center. Having the morning off today, I decided to head over and see if I could find them.

Barred Owl, Colleyville Nature Center
The answer was quickly revealed to be "yes."  In fact, this isn't even the first owl I saw.  But the first one was in deep shade high in the canopy, and I couldn't get a decent picture.  I pointed him out to someone else, and was rewarded with directions to the nest of the mated pair!

On my way to said nest I hopped over a small creek, and this one flew practically right over my head as I did so.  Shame on me for being so focused on getting to the nest that I wasn't scanning the trees!  Fortunately he didn't fly far, and I had slightly better light when he landed.

Carolina Wren, Colleyville Nature Center
On to the nest site I went, where I watched and waited.  This Carolina Wren stopped by briefly to sing me a pretty little song.

Barred Owl Nest, Colleyville Nature Center
This is the most action I saw during the hour I spent watching the nest cavity.  Catch the feathers there at the bottom?  I believe that's the mom shifting.  They appeared, moved briefly, then disappeared.

My hopes went up a little when the female called and the male answered, and they continued calling back and forth for a few minutes.  I thought some sort of movement would be forthcoming, but that was not the case.  Well, at least I know where the nest is for a future visit.

Barred Owl, Colleyville Nature Center
On my way back to my car the first owl I'd seen was still sitting in the same spot.  The light had improved enough that I was able to get a decent shot this time.

Barred Owl, Colleyville Nature Center
I followed the trail to see if I could get a vantage point with better light, and I did.  And he turned around to continue to watch me.  Jackpot. :)

Barred Owl, Colleyville Nature Center
He flew off again and I followed, but his new spot was partially obscured by lower branches.  Still, I had to take some pictures when he started grooming.

Fox Squirrel, Colleyville Nature Center
The place was crawling with Fox Squirrels, as normal.  Just a few feet from my car, this little badass shot me some stink eye.

Fox Squirrel, Colleyville Nature Center
Then he turned a bit and looked curious and adorable.  Funny how just that slight shift in his profile seemed to completely change the emotion I was projecting onto him. :)

I got the great owl shot I was hoping for plus more, and set myself up for future trips.  Great morning!

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