Short Eared Owl


A late evening surprise.


I really enjoy chance encounters with birds, especially when they are cooperative and allow close study.

I had driven slowly along the gravel track on the South Sloblands not really expecting too much, when I suddenly became aware of this Short-eared Owl hunched on the roadside bank. I knew if I stopped, it would surely have flown, so I drifted slowly passed before stopping and getting my watercolour sketchpad ready.

With the passenger side window now rolled down, I reversed gently until in situ only about five metres away. Engine off now and daring not to move, I sat willing it to stay.  The owl, wide-eyed, seemed to play the same game of ‘dare not move’. Eventually she ( I don’t know why, but I say ‘she’ ) accepted my presence and settled giving me cracking close views and ample time to sketch and wash in some colour. As time progressed, I know she would stay and we both sat nervously but content that no danger lay in store.