The state schedule for standardized testing has wreaked havoc with my spring calendar. Instead of teaching students about aquatic invertebrates, I spent yesterday afternoon wandering around the wetlands at Mission Creek Woodland Park. I was looking for Spring wildflowers, but I found something even better.
This Barred Owl (Strix varia) flew up from the ground about 20 yards in front of me and landed in a tree further in the wetland. I took a moment to change lenses on my camera and started walking closer.
After a couple of minutes the owl flew into an Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) tree on a nearby slope. I took a couple more photographs before the owl again flew further away.
At this point I walked up the slope, not expecting to see the owl again. I took one further look around and the owl was tucked in another nearby hemlock tree. I was able to take one last picture before it flew back down onto the wetlands and disappeared.
Seeing a Barred Owl in the middle of the day is not that unusual. They commonly hunt during daylight hours. This is actually the second time that I have seen a barred owl in this location.