Yes, it is always nice when wildlife cooperates and you are able to get a clear shot of your subject. But sometimes that perfect pose just isn't to be and you have to work with the moment at hand. Birds are funny that way.
My trusty Scout and I stumbled upon this beautiful little Barred Owl late one afternoon. In fact, we had already gone past this location when something made us turn around. As we rounded the bend, we both saw something fly into the back side of a Pine Tree. Our binoculars immediately went up! He was pretty well hidden by the tree - but given the time of day and the coloring on the feathers, we were pretty sure it was an Owl.
My Scout froze, not wanting to draw any attention to us. I slowly walked upwind and away from where the bird was perched, and hoped for the best. I could see him in the tree - his eyes intently focused on a field off to the right of where I was standing. He "lightened his load" (which is always a good indication a bird is going to fly) and, just as expected, swooped out of the tree and into the field. He landed in this small tree and peered at me from around the branch like a toddler peeking through his open fingers, giggling with excitement, saying "You can't see me!"
He was kind enough to allow me a couple of shots before he was off into the night...in search of his next meal.
Barred Owl Essex County, MA