The next morning I was up early and was checking my e-mail frequently as I worked on my computer. Around 8:00am I noticed an e-mail that the owl had been spotted by the home owner again that morning so I printed out the directions and headed over. When I arrived at the house in Bloomington the owner was not home but another birder was already there and had located the owl perched in an apple tree in the backyard. From the side of the house we had a pretty good view of the bird except there was one branch that was obstructing the view, see the photo above. Even though the picture was not perfect I was still pretty excited because this was the first saw-whet that I had the chance to photograph in the wild, all the others were photographed while they were being banded up at Hawk Ridge.
Shortly after I arrived and got a few shots from the side of the house the owner returned. The other two birders who were there, another arrived as we were photographing from the side of the house, decided to leave so since it was just myself I asked the owner if I could go into the yard to try and get an unobstructed shot. He was very kind and let me go though his house and out the back door. I was able to find a good angle on the bird, with no branches, but unfortunately the bird was not facing the camera, see the shot above.
After taking a couple of shots I figured that I had probably bothered the owl and the home owner enough so I decided to leave. While I was leaving the home owner told me that the owl had perched in a more open spot on Saturday. So I decided to give the owl some time and I headed over to a park that was not far away. A couple of hours later I returned and this time there were many people there to see the owl. The owl had moved to a slightly different location in the same tree and was now surrounded by large camera lenses and gawking birders.
I hung around for a while taking pictures. There was always at least 5 people with big glass in the yard during the time that I was there. Most of the time the owl had its eyes closed but on a couple of occasions when the chickadees began to mob it the owl did open one of its eyes. Then someone decided that he had to get his 500mm camera right on top of the owl. I wanted to say something but was afraid that the ensuing argument would stress the owl even more. So a few minutes later I left. I never saw any more posts about the owl after that day so either the owl moved on or the home owner decided it was better not to invite people over because unfortunately there are people who care more about getting a pic then they do the owl that they are photographing.