provided by:

Priscilla Sokolowski

Eugene, OR

Photos from personal trips  AND trips with

“Birds of Oregon and General Science” (BOGS)


Bird photography

Diamonds In The  Rough,

Feb 9, 2018

Just about each time I go out to Diamond Hill Wetlands to photograph Owls, I get better results. While I am slowly getting better at choosing the best settings; it is not so much my skill with the camera, but rather the lighting and the Owls which have made the difference. It has been brighter; less cloudy in recent visits, and the Owls have been more active, coming closer to the road.

Janet, Jennifer, LaRue and I got to the powerline pullout around 4:10pm. There were a few Short-eared Owls way at the far northern end of the wetlands, along the wooded Pierce Creek. My first photo was one of these Owls at 4:20, when it came a little closer and landed on a fence post. It was still a long way away.

We continued on to the gated driveway. There was already another car there, which turned out to be Joane from BOGS and a friend. After only a few minutes we saw that there were active Owls and Northern Harriers scattered around. Another car came along with BOGS member Lynn Ash and a friend Kim. They stayed and enjoyed the Owls for a while too. A short time later Steve's friend Ron showed up too. He had taken some excellent photos the night before (Thursday) after seeing the photos Steve had taken on Wednesday. Ron had already printed some of his photos on something like 12 X 16 photographic paper and he showed them to us.

As usual the Owls often chased the Harriers, or dived at them. Unlike Eagles, which seem oblivious no matter what the Owls do, the Harriers appear to be disturbed by the Owls diving and chasing. They try to fly away from the Owls.

During the hour we were there, the action got better and better. Owls flew along the edge of the field near the road, sometimes passing us by a hundred or two hundred feet away. Unlike my other visits this time one of the Owls perched to the East of us, which put the Sun fully on its front side, making for very nice photos. Usually they perch to our West (and further away as well) and only get half illuminated by sunlight. We stayed until it was getting dark. My last photo was taken 5:10pm.

DARK BROWN background