In the last month there has been a record number of observations of Great Grey Owls along the coast in Southern Norway and the reported birds must just be the tip of the iceberg – one even found its way into a mist net at a bird observatory. I am guiding for owls next week so it is good to know where I might be able to lay my hands on a Great Grey or two.
This week is half term holiday so I have other priorities but with the days getting lighter earlier it is now possible to get up early and get some birding in before the other family members are ready to go skiing.
So, at 8 am I was walking around in 10cm deep new snow near Moss (south of Oslo) in search of an owl that had been present for a few days. My initial check of the area revealed nothing but a couple of Blue Tits alarm calling was interesting enough that I followed the sound.
It was a bit boggy and I was paying more attention to where I was walking than what was above me but I suddenly felt I was being watched and looked up to see a Great Grey Owl at less than 10 metres range! I actually felt a bit spooked and had to take a couple of deep breathes before I could enjoy the situation.
I tried for another owl photographed even closer to home yesterday but was unable to find it although feel that that bird was on the move as the habitat does not seem particularly suitable.