[Tweeters] If the Snowy Owl irruption won't come to you...
TRI at seattleu.edu
Fri Dec 20 20:27:07 PST 2013
…try going to it.
I have had to come back east to Connecticut on short notice for a family situation, but the silver lining is that this New York Times article yesterday<http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/tracking-the-snowy-owl-migration-in-real-time/?emc=edit_tnt_20131219&tntemail0=y&_r=0> reminded me that I’m not the only one visiting this part of the country right now. So I checked eBird, then late this afternoon my brother and father and I went to Long Beach (the other one, here in Connecticut near Stratford) and had a good time trying to find a Snowy. We hiked along the sand/shell spit, with industrial Bridgeport looming across the little bay, encountering birders here and there who kept pointing further down the spit, saying a Snowy had been hanging out there all afternoon snoozing.
Finally we got to a guy with an exceptionally huge scope pointing into the beach grass, right as he folded it up and told us the owl had just flown off “that way somewhere.” I gave up any real hope of finding it, but at least we’d had a good nature walk with a lovely sunset impending. We ventured a little further, scanning the wetlands and grass for a white blob just in case — when suddenly I realized a beautiful Snowy Owl was scanning the beach from the top of a nearby snag. It began preening and scratching, then hawked a pellet, in preparation for evening hunting. After dark it followed us back along the beach for a ways, finally flying like a glowing ghost into the darkness. The light was too low and my travel lens not powerful enough for great photos, but I did post a few to my Flickr page: flickr.com/photos/trileigh.
Good birding to all, happy holidays, and best wishes for a birdy New Year!
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Lincoln Park, West Seattle
Natural history blog: naturalpresence.wordpress.com
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