Mr. Neil has a few owl species on his property. There is a resident barred owl who occasionally duets with a second bird. This bird has been the cagiest of barred owls that I have ever encountered. Most of the time when I walk through the woods where it roosts, it takes off even if I'm far away. A few weeks ago, I found it just across the creek and for once it didn't move. However, I think it was forced to stay in one spot because a few trees away was a roosting great horned owl and if the great horned found the barred owl, it would have been an ugly fight. You can read about that here.
I figured that the barred owl had finally decided to stay across the creek and went walking through the pines where it normally roosts. While exploring the pines and checking out a large stick nest, I had that feeling I was being watched. I turned to my left and there was the barred owl roosting. This was the closest it had ever allowed me to come. Typically, it would have flown off. I didn't have my scope and snapped the above photo with just my camera. I looked behind me and noticed up on the hill was Mr. Neil's writing gazebo. It has a deck and I thought that if I went there, I could get a better view of the barred owl--maybe even be eye level with it. I took note of the base of the tree that the barred owl was roosting on and went back the way I came on the trail and took the long way back to the yard and gazebo so as not to get any closer.
There it is roosting in the pines. It stayed all day and later, at around 4pm while I was digiscoping the robins and waxwings, I could hear it call from the pines. This is excellent progress--I think the owl is finally learning that the people who come through that part of the woods for the most part ignore it or just watch it a bit from time to time and leave it alone. Incidentally, this is the same deck and gazebo where I recorded the pair of barred owls hooting a duet.