[Tweeters] Smaller, Slower, Quieter Crowd at Eide - 1/30/15
barbdeihl at comcast.net
Sat Jan 31 02:20:21 PST 2015
When I got there (4 p.m.), the clicking of the cameras had already gotten off to a start, but with fewer people present, it didn't build to the sort of crescendo experienced previously by either the humans or the owls (SEOW & one LEOW, although I heard someone say they later saw another Longear flying over the north field area - unconfirmed as yet). It felt to me that people closed in too near the Longear, but it stayed put and even, after finally eating it's catch, scrunched up its face and dozed off for a short nap, right there in front of us. So, what do we know about how close is too close, in the case of this owl ? It's been pretty tolerant for a good long month or so, if indeed, we have been watching the same owl this whole time... It, or they, do get flushed by people, maybe on a daily basis, or so I hear. I felt bad for it last night, when it seemed forced to wait quite a long time, to down its meal - it looked around at us watchers/photographers, much like it did on Tues. when it was trying to cache a vole in the tree. The people-factor seemed to make it a bit anxious. But, I have to admit - I decided to stay and watch it - I positioned myself about 10-15- ft. behind the main group that was photographing. The bird stayed put until it didn't. Once it started hunting again, it certainly seemed to be all right - in fact, it flew in fairly close to the remaining people and perched in a spindly tree for maybe 5 minutes.
People slowly left the owl to its business, and quite a few turned to the sky which lit up brilliantly. Another groovy session at Eide.
One not-so-nice thing is the mud ruts recently made by some 4X4's (?) or ATVs near the parking area, in the mud. Now THAT must have kept the owls at bay and out, out and away... :-(
I should add that many of the 10-15 photographers that I saw out there, likely got some beautiful pics of the owls (and the harriers and a Rough-legged Hawk), many of them flight shots. I heard about and was shown a few. There were some active and vocal little dicky birds just off the road which some people took a quick look at, but didn't photograph - I sort of ID'd one - a wren, maybe a Marsh Wren, but it looked a lot like a Bewick's. But just then a Shortear flapped on over the path ahead and my attention was diverted. Here's my photo story for the day, in my Flickr album: "Can't Get Enough of Eide" - 1/30/15 :
Matthews Beach Neighborhood - NE Seattle
barbdeihl at comcast.net
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