Geoff Wood and I made a quick decision at 5 in the morning to make a quick 500 mile trip to try to see a Great Gray Owl that had been seen in the Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife in Maine. This large refuge abuts long logging roads so it was a real shot in the dark, but we turned up successful. After coming across a flock of Pine Grosbeaks, we found the owl shortly after. The owl was hunting a field along a section of the access road. It was quite a treat to see this large boreal owl up close, at one point while hunting the bird dropped about 40 feet away in pursuit of a small rodent. Great Gray Owls are auditory hunters so it was interesting to watch the bird "listening" and then floating across the field like a giant moth to drop onto prey. A very long trip, but well worth it to see this majestic owl of the north.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Monday, January 16, 2017
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
One thing about observing wildlife everyday (if you do a good job) is that they acclimate to you. In the case of Bernard the Barred Owl, now he basically glances at me...then goes back to sleep. I am essentially just another creature in the forest that means him no harm and is adhering to a perplexing "hunting" schedule. Today I managed to catch Bernard as he was leaving to go hunt, so I finally got a few good shots of him out in the open.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Today was one of those birding days that you always shoot for but always fall short of. Geoff and I had the full Monty of birds. 4 Lapland Longspurs, 1 Snowy Owl, 1 Barred Owl, 1 Eastern Screech Owl, 1 Northern Shrike, Snowy Bunting, Horned Lark, and some other randoms.
Monday, January 9, 2017
An immature Northern Shrike was hunting in the Refuge today. Shrike are an interesting visitor from the north. Also called butcher birds, this songbird raptor high-bred often leaves half finished meals impaled on thorns or tree limbs for a later meal. Also a new Screech Owl in down town Newburyport.