We took a very brief trip (2 nights) during mid-May to see the Yosemite owls. We principally timid our trip to correspond with the peak calling period of the Flammulated Owl. Also by planning a trip before end of May you can avoid masses of people that arrive for Memorial Day. What we did not plan for was the moon phase and rising. As it turned out there was no moon and overcast skies. Managing to photograph this sparrow sized owl on a pitch-black night, in a dense forest is almost impossible. We spent several hours on our first evening trying to locate this very small owl. Modifying our search, we decided to look for some of the other Yosemite owls.
Great Gray Owl – A Miss
On our way into the park we had heard Great Gray Owls calling in the Wawona meadow. We headed back to this location to see what we could find. Two Great Gray Owls were calling in the forest across the meadow. WE spent about a half hour trying to entice the owls out of the forest. Finally one of the owls flew over to the tree that we were standing under. The problem was that he was about 40 feet up and there was no clear view to the owl. After another half hour of trying to get him to fly over to the next set of trees, that we had walked over to, he flew back across the meadow into the forest. At this point we decided to try another location just outside the northwest side of the park. Continue reading