keskiviikko 25. maaliskuuta 2015

Great Grey Owl

Once again I found myself packing my photo gears and all other equipments in to my car. It was mid March when I heard news from Kuusamo - Black grouse lek had started, dippers were building nests and a few Great grey owls had been seen. That kind of news you just can´t ignore! When the car was packed I took heading to Kuusamo. I have been on those roads so many times that they are really familiar to me and ten hours in car was no problem when the weather was so fine. Clear skies, dry roads and expectations high up. I arrived in Kuusamo at eight a clock and saw pale light on the sky and when I turned to a mall´s parking area the sky was already full of northern lights. Really beautiful Aurora borealis with green, red and blue colors, such an exceptionally strong, intense and colourful phenomenon. Immediately I jumped back to my car and drove outside the downtown area where the light pollution is bad, even Kuusamo is a small town. When I got my camera ready on a tripod with remote control connected the show was over. Only a hunch of lights were any longer in the sky. What a pity, but you can´t always win. I forgot that disappointment very quickly because I knew I had hot sauna waiting for me, after a while I already enjoyed the sauna´s cuddling heat topped with a few beers and then got early to bed. Next morning I had to be at the Black grouse lekking site at 5 am. Morning was quite okay with cloudy skies and temperature three degrees below freezing point. Since at this time of year the sun rises at about 6.30 am it was still dark. I waited one and a half hours before the first Black grouse males flew to the fir tops around me. Quite soon the lek was played in front of my hide. The air was full of whistles and whooshes which are very important part of the lek. Unfortunately my pictures are without voice effects!

The lek season had just started so it was over quite soon and I continued to Käylä white-water were the Dippers were. In the early spring morning´s soft sunlight I got a few very nice pictures of those dippers.

Some twenty kilometers east from Kuusamo had been seen a Great Grey Owl. In the early afternoon after the dippers I drove over there. My good friend Olli Lamminsalo, who is running the Kuusamo Bird Tours, was also there chasing the owl. We were lucky and found the owl sitting in the tree on the field side. That was something spectacular, breath taking and unbelievable to watch the owl catching moles. This and the coming afternoons we spent at that site photographing. That was something really unforgettable.

 The look of an owl is really focused

The flying is beautiful and every move is intentional

Pictoresque creature


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