Posted by Kenneth Bishop on February 8, 2018 at 9:56 am
Taken on 11-22-2017 in South Haven, MI. This was an experience of a lifetime! I was gull watching on the pier, when I noticed a commotion from north of my position. Several gulls were clearly agitated and in hot pursuit of another bird. To my amazement, it was a Snowy Owl and it was headed right for me! I watched in utter shock as this bird elected to land merely a few yards in front of me. I’m not certain if it had ever seen a human before, or if my presence meant a few moments rest for the harassed owl. Regardless, one of my most memorable birding moments. In order to take this photo with my Canon PowerShot 530sx HS, I actually had to step back from the bird. I snapped a few photos, and unsure if I should move away from the bird, I decided to stay put. The owl didn’t seem stressed and it hung out with me for a few minutes. When it flew off it circled the lighthouse and doubled back, flying right over my head and perched on a cottage 1000 feet down the beach where another Snowy was resting. As the morning progressed, 2 more Snowy Owls stopped by the pier to relax, unconcerned with my presence. One owl even took a nap! I’ll never forget this experience. Just me, a bunch of ornery gulls and the Snowy Owls, hanging out on a pier in less than desirable weather.