Snow Owl seen in corn field off Williams Rd, Center Hall, PA 1/6/18
Many PA birders got a good look at the second Snowy Owl in Center County since the last visit during the winter of 2005/06. This bird was first observed in the same valley, on Tusseyville Rd, on 1/5/18 by Joe Gyekis, of the State College Bird Club. The air temperature was about 7 degrees F, with a bone-chilling west wind gusting to 25 mph, bringing the wind chill down to -15F. Birders observed from their vehicles, or bundled against the cold and wind, stood along the road with cameras, binoculars and spotting scopes to get a look at this arctic visitor. We watched discreetly from the roadside (as per good birding ethics so to not stress the bird), and the owl did a good job of ignoring the onlookers. Distance from observers to the bird was approximately 50 -60 yds; so these images are cropped from the original exposures.
Gear used: Olympus OM-D EM-1 MkII with Olympus 40-150mm PRO lens and 1.4 teleconverter, on a Gitzo Mountaineer Series I carbon fiber tripod fitted with a Really Right Stuff BH-30 ballhead. Focusing was Single AF with manual assist. The EM-1 is rated to 14degrees, and has preformed very well in temperatures down to -7 F on my recent outings.