At least one Long-eared Owls continues to be in the park. It was sleeping when I arrived, ignoring the young adults smoking pot on the nearby hill!
I ran into a longtime friend and a photographer who I had never met before. I helped them find the owl, since it was difficult to locate.
The "new to birding" photographer asked me questions about camera equipment non-stop. I didn't have the heart to say, "It's not the equipment stupid" but wanted to. If you want to be a birding photographer, don't worry about your equipment. Getting a good kit together is easy.
Today, most birding photography is rather soulless. Most photographers are obsessed with the perfect details in the perfect light. These photographs are like yearbook pictures, perfectly boring.
Captivating pictures tell you something about the bird's behavior or environment. To do that, you've got be part birder, part naturalist and lastly a photographer.
So, if you want to ask me questions, don't ask me about hardware. Ask me about when the light is good, what I'm discovering about the bird's behavior today, what moment I'm trying to capture, etc. If you don't study the bird and figure out what's special about it, how can you take a great picture of it?