My first Snowy of 2021

Snowy Owl: Biddeford Pool, Maine, USA — I went out yesterday to do a poke around for Snowy Owls. There have been several in York County this past week (and at least one close encounter to go by the pics posted on Facebook). I did not have a close encounter, far from it, but I did manage to find one Snowy Owl, after several hours of visiting likely spots from past years and places they have been reported this year on eBird. This one was right at the narrows at Biddeford Pool…I was parked in the town parking by the market, but it was all the way across the channel on the other bank…barely a speck to the naked eye…and not clearly identifiable as a Snowy Owl. Could have been an upright white rock. I had to watch it for a while through the viewfinder at 1200mm on the Sony Rx10iv before it moved and I was certain it was an owl. Even then it only rotated its head. Not ideal for photography. This shot is at 1200mm equivalent using Clear Image digital zoom on the Sony, and then I enlarged it in Pixomator Photo Pro and cropped so it is at least the equivalent of a 3000mm lens. To make matters more difficult, it is a Snowy Owl…a difficult subject for exposure at any time. In the bright November sun, I had to dial the Exposure Compensation down to -1.3 EV to hold any detail in the white feathers. I tried even -2 EV but it still did not keep the highlights in check. The best I can say of this photo is that it is definitely a Snowy Owl. 🙂 It does give me hope for at least one close encounter this winter. We shall see. Sony Rx10iv at 600mm equivalent optical zoom plus 2x Clear Image zoom. Program mode with my custom birds and wildlife modifications. -1.3 EV. Processed in Polarr, Pixelmator Pro, and Apple Photos. ISO 100 @ f4 @ 1/800th.

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