HankMD, I can easily imagine the excitement. My last owl was over 30 years ago, as hard as it is to believe, we just don't seem to have a lot around here. Nice shot.
Thanks, Jack. And wow, I sure hope my next owl won't take that long. Truth is, owls are fairly uncommon in the urban area where I live. The Collared Scops Owl is, not surprisingly, the most adapted to the human environment. The one I ran into was in a local park. The Eastern Grass Owl, on the other hand, is locally endangered, and most birders around here are lucky to see it once in a lifetime.
HankMD - congrats on your first owl!!! It's so exciting to finally see one considering how hard they are to find. I've been looking for this little guy in my yard for months and I've seen him fly by and heard him almost daily but it took me that long to finally find him. That's a really interesting owl you shot - I've never even heard of the species.
Thanks, mackguyver. I find that I run into interesting species when I'm not looking for them (and least expect them). Last Saturday I went on a hike with my wife, and though I heard all sorts of bird calls, only ONE was in sight for a total of five seconds. The shutter count incremented by exactly zero. Just as we were leaving the parking lot, I saw a pair of what I learned later were Collared Finchbills. Those shots made the day.
In your case, though, you already knew you had something interesting, and your perseverance and ingenuity paid off -- congrats!
A raptor that I ran into at a local art museum
last year (which sort of got me interested in birding):