Ottawa winter owls trip
For the first time since 2005 I spent some time this winter in eastern Ontario. The trigger was a number of Great Gray and Snowy Owls which had been seen consistently in the Ottawa area. I also took a trip to Amherst Island near Kingston where I managed to see several Snowy Owls including the one above. The highlight though was an amazing encounter with two improbable birds. As I scanned the ducks in the channel ahead of the ferry I noticed a Great Black-backed Gull which appeared to be attacking one of the ducks. It was about 800 meters away when first spotted, but the ferry really chugs along and soon I could see that the gull had a female Common Merganser in the water which was still alive an struggling! The gull would not give up its prize and as we got closer and closer I just kept firing away fully expecting that the gull would take flight. The ferry was on a collision path with the gull and duck but it wouldnt let go!! Incredibly the ferry drove RIGHT OVER THE GULL AND MERGANSER with the gull holding on to its prey and then popping up in the stern wake of the ferry. It was an amazing event to witness. The photo below was taken just a few seconds before both were submerged!