Owling Yosemite

Yosemite Coyote

Yosemite Coyote with thick winter coat

On Saturday/Sunday May 22-23 two of us made a quick trip to Yosemite National Park to do some spring owling. This is generally a very good time to go to Yosemite because the Flammulated Owls are calling. I usually try to head up to Yosemite the weekend before Memorial Day so I don’t hit the big crowds and because it is the perfect time to find Flammulated Owls. This year, it proved to be the wrong time for this because of cold weather. The Flammulated Owls were calling but at 35˚F at night and often snowing it was far too cold for this Southern California boy to be out owling, not to mention the curve it throws into taking pictures. As a brief summary we did find a lot of Flammulated Owls, as expected, but the owls seem to be much more secretive in the cold weather and I didn’t manage any good photos. We also saw a Great Gray Owl but once again did not get good pictures. He (actually she!) flew in very close, I think just to tease me, and then continued on into the forest to call at us from a distance. As a last owl for this quick trip we heard Northern Saw-whet Owl. I generally expect to find and take pictures of Flammulated, Great Gray, Northern Pygmy, and Spotted Owls. On a good trip, or if I am looking find species, I will add Northern Saw-whet, Great Horned, Western Screech and Long-eared Owls. This means I will return in the next few weeks so stay tuned. I don’t often miss, look for photos here soon! This handsome coyote at the left gives a feel for the weather and was taken with my Canon 7D camera using a 100-400mm lens .

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