It looks like I show you the same image at this time of every year. Yes, a Great Horned Owl sits again in the nest at Mud Lake Park, just a stone throw away from the Mississippi River. 2017 is the fifth year in a row that the Great Horned has chosen this nest site. A couple other photographers have emailed me during the last days that they saw the owl and even the male was spotted in another tree (Thank you Linda and Ken!). Incubation takes about 28 to 35 days and is mostly done by the female.
I was there yesterday afternoon but the bird was out of the nest. Today I used my lunch break to drive down to Mud Lake again and was even able to make a few clicks. Distance is always a bit of a problem and I used all my technical means to overcome it. First, the Sigma APO Teleconverter 1.4x EX DG was mounted between the Sigma 150-600 mm lens and the camera to extend the focal length to 850 mm. Second, the D750 was set to DX crop mode, which gave me the equivalent angle of view of a 1275 mm lens. I still cropped a little sliver on the right and top to keep a few distracting branches out of the frame. At that time of the day I had to shoot against the sun but a thin layer of clouds didn’t make this a big problem. Dialing in exposure compensation of +1 1/3 EV delivered the best results today.