Today was the last day of 2015, and it’s been a great one. I got to visit my favourite Snowy Owl- the Queen of the Island.
This morning I got up early and headed down to Presqu’ile Park for a hike out to Gull Island.
Right now, Gull Island looks like this. Required footwear for the hike varies, but today it consisted of tall rubber boots with ice cleats strapped on to them. A very fashionable ensemble.
Hiking out the the island I am never alone, as the lake is teeming with waterfowl such as these little Long Tailed Ducks.
Each year, a female Snowy makes Gull Island her home. I don’t really know if it is always the same one. But I do know that many Snowy Owls enjoy winter territories around the Great Lakes each year. It’s the easy access to waterfowl that keeps them coming back.
Today I initially found the Queen sitting on a duck blind. Isn’t it nice of the park staff to set these up for her? She checked me out, then fell back to sleep.
Snowy Owls are wild, and do not tolerate people if we get too close. I have learned to stay far back, stay still, and then the owl will just go about its business instead of flying away. My long lens helps, as does heavily cropping photos when I get home.
She flew back to the island and landed on the “Access Prohibited” sign, then gave me a little wink. OK, I am anthropomorphizing here. Again.
After swooping down over the island looking for rodents she landed back up on a post. I love how her feathers were blowing in the wind, and how I can see the fuzz on her face when she turns sideways. Once again, I waited to see what would happen.
I am so fortunate that I live in such a beautiful part of the world, where I can visit wild creatures like the Snowy Owl who fill me with such awe. I can’t think of a better way to spend the last day of 2015.
Thank you for sharing my journey with me, and Happy New Year!
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