There have been snowy owl sightings in Marblehead for the past few winters but I had never had the good fortune to see (let alone try to photograph) one. Though I have never been drawn to the niche of bird photography, there is something about the snowy owl that makes them an incredible sight to behold.

When I heard that one had been spotted in Marblehead in early January during that arctic cold blast, I decided to try to spot it. I ended up lucking out on my third outing when this owl perched on a familiar picnic bench near the Goldthwait reservation. I approached cautiously and respectfully getting close enough to capture this image with a 400mm lens (and a silent shutter to not disturb him).  I was still at least 100 feet away from the owl when he must have spotted some prey in the field and took off.

I tried to spot the owl again for the next few days but never had another opportunity to witness his beauty.