I am becoming obsessed with the goal of a terrific portrait photo of a Short-eared Owl. They can be found wintering in many different places in Kentucky, but I somehow manage to miss all the great trips my friends take at the last minute. Eileen came back saying, "We saw 35 of them take off at one time!" Three days later her friend called to say they were all gone.
In Western Kentucky, near Paradise (you remember, "down by the Green River, where Paradise lay," as John Denver sang) the coal companies stripped the minerals out, and have "reclaimed" the area in grasslands, and they often find good raptors there, including Short-eared Owls.
Shelby County is just next door, so when Pat and Jane from the Beckham Bird Club said they saw one right by the road, I asked for directions. We arrived a little early and took the scenic tour of Shelby County farmlands, including some wonderful Kestrel sightings. By 5 o'clock the main show was ready to begin. At least three SEO's soared and circled each other, or flew low to the ground ... on the other side of the field. We could see them pretty well through binoculars though. I put some mouse offerings on the fence posts near the car, although they weren't interested enough to investigate.
But how often do you get to see owls in synchronized flight? Pretty cool.
By the time the sun set over the silos on the neighboring farm, our fingers were turning to icicles, and we decided to go for coffee and supper. I intend to keep looking for Short-eared Owls whenever I can, since I am determined to find one sitting on a fencepost long enough and near enough for a good photo! Wish me luck!