January 27, 2009

Snowy Owl Day

Today my mom and I went out to look for a Snowy Owl that was being reported near the Owego Wetlands which is not far from where I live. I decided to check a wildlife area on the way down for birds since it was on the way and worth checking. When we got there my mom spotted a large white bird fly up to the top of a grain bin. I looked where she was talking about with my binoculars and saw an adult Snowy Owl perched on the bin. The Snowy Owl that we were going to look for was a juvenile so they were different birds, a great surprise! I called up a couple area birders and they rushed down to see it. On the way there I saw a Northern Shrike as well as a couple mammals such as Mink (weasel) and Red Fox.
After I spent some time photographing and watching the first owl it was time to find the second. We pulled up to the spot where the second owl was seen and found it fairly quickly perched on a post. I got a picture before it flew out into the middle of a field. Seeing two Snowy Owls in one day around here is not easy to do. Finding one can even prove to be a challenge. Most years only one (or even no) Snowy Owls are seen. So far this winter we've had three in the area.After I was done watching the Snowy Owl we (more like I, my mom isn't really a birder) decided to look for a flock of forty Common Redpolls at the wetland area nearby. I had already seen the flock a few days earlier but I wanted to see it again to see if there were any Hoary Redpolls in with them. We found the flock but they flew off after a minute of watching them. Redpolls have to be one of the hardest kinds of birds to observe if they are not sitting still on a feeder. They move around from place to place (they usually stayed in one location for a few minutes and then they moved to another one usually far away) and even when they are feeding the are constantly moving.
The regular birds to the wetland are are also interesting. It doesn't take Snowy Owls or Common Redpolls to make it an interesting day. There are many birds there most of the time such as Short-eared Owl (pictured), Rough-legged Hawk, Merlin, etc. It is a great place to visit almost anytime.


The Early Birder said...

Another good birding day Tucker & nice pics of Snowy Owls, something I've not yet seen - will have to travel north...north some time.

Enjoyed reading your other postings. Keep blogging & happy birding. Regards, Frank

Tucker L said...

Happy birding to you too! Thanks for visiting the blog, I hope you enjoy it.

twilightgecko said...

very nice snowy owl pics.. owls are hard to photograph.. i actually haven't seen an owl in years.. they are what i'm currently searching for.. i scan the woods and trees all the time..