The Fox and the Owl

We enjoyed a scrumptious meal on Saturday afternoon.  After giving some thought to our next stop, we settled on a trip to Lasalle to take in the sunset. On arrival, we noted five photographers awaiting the Eastern screech owl’s departure for the nightly hunt.  We joined in.  An experienced birder described the process – the owl would gradually waken and once the eyes opened fully, the bird would take flight.

While waiting we engaged in light banter as we changed our camera settings to accord with the loss of light.  A gentleman approached the group to advise that a fox was observed on the boardwalk.  Some of us were conflicted – owl or fox?  The clock was ticking closer to 5:00 p.m.  We elected to continue with the owl. About 10 minutes later a member of our group spotted the fox behind us.  Again, the conflict – owl or fox?  Four of us opted for the fox.

Red fox at Lasalle Marina

Red fox

Happily the owl stayed put.  By then our group grew to nine photographers.  We waited and heard, “He’ll go any minute now.” Nope.  Nothing happened. Then we tried to determine the owl’s flight path.  Two photographers moved to the suspected route.  I turned my head and remarked, “Yeah, that makes sense”.  In those few seconds I MISSED the launch! My head was turned with jaws dropped as it whisked right by me.  Not one of us got a photograph!  We laughed and congratulated each other as we got one last photograph. Here is the pictorial chronology.

Eastern screech owl mid-yawn at Lasalle Marina

Mid-yawn

Eastern screech owl yawning at Lasalle Marina

Yawn

Eastern screech own engaging in pre-flight grooming at Lasalle Marina

Pre-flight grooming

Checking flight path at Lasalle Marina

Checking flight path

Checking out the paparazzi at Lasalle Marina

Checking out the paparazzi

Limbering up at Lasalle Marina

Limbering up

Eyes wide open at Lasalle Marina

Eyes wide open

Happy hunting my friend at Lasalle Marina

Happy hunting my friend

What a brilliant and memorable experience!

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