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The Short-eared Owl

As promised, here is how Mother Nature decided to surprise and amaze me last week.

After admiring and photographing my first osprey, I continued my tour to reach strategic places for the sighting of large birds of prey, especially to try out the Nikon D500 borrowed from a photographer friend of mine.
I passed near a nature reserve near Ystad where I waited, this time in vain, for the Golden Eagles; but as I have already explained, to wait joining Nature is never wasted time, but earned; and it makes me feel good
Coming closer to Malmö, then, I moved to another area where both golden and sea eagles can be seen.

While driving quietly, one eye towards the free road in front of me and the other towards the sky and the fields around, after having passed the area where I saw the peregrine falcon, a strange, sudden and fast movement just above the meadow has captured my attention.
I parked in a pitch, I took the reflex from the passenger seat, I zoomed in and … I couldn’t believe it: an owl, particularly a Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus), flew grazing over the large meadow lighten up from the reflections of the sunset’s light which made hundreds of insects shine, like diurnal fireflies.

What a show!
Apart from the meeting with the Eagle Owl, I had never seen any other owl and, above all not so close; and it didn’t seem to be real…
The owl didn’t seem bothered from my presence, so I got out of the car to get a better view and action.

To see it fly, sinuous and silent, with its wingspan that can reach 110 cm for a relatively small bird (34-43 cm in length, 200-475 g in weight); To cross often my sight into his yellow and magnetic eyes; to see the reflections of the sun filter through its wings painting its profile in gold…
Needless to say, it was an unforgettable and extraordinary experience, even if, strange as it may seem, this type of owl prefers to hunt in daylight hours than in nighttime hours, so shouldn’t be classified as “special”… but it was!

Then, suddenly, as it appeared, it literally disappeared into nothingness, faded away.
Both me and other photographers, who I had made aware of this sighting, returned several times to the same area, but it seems the owl left without a trace, vanished, so that if I had not had the picture to prove the encountering, I would have thought of a hallucination.

But it was not a dream: evidently, that was just my lucky day!
Or maybe, I was particularly in harmony with the world around me…

And Mother Nature wanted to give me another wonderful gift!

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