In case I haven’t given you enough to read, here are some links that folks have sent in on snowy’s. Thanks to all. M.
From Ron P, the story behind the box near WAGS. http://ottercreek.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/the-wrong-owl/
From Mary W, snowy’s into Ct. http://fw.to/KDVTP4O
From Robin P, a little history on the influx. http://brucemactavish1.blogspot.com/2013/12/300-snowy-owls-in-newfoundland-weekend.html?m=1
Happy new years morning to all.
No white rabbits in the pictures of course but everyone knows that if those are the first words spoken at the beginning of the month, the speaker will have exceptionally good luck throughout that month. Lets hope so anyway.
My good luck starts with the January picture on the calendar made for us by good friends David A. and Louise S. I hate to take the old calendar down, but time marches on.
Next on our list is this photo from Rusty K. taken Monday out at Dead Creek. It’s one of those pictures at the limits of the camera again but it’s good enough for Sue W. to agree with Rusty that it is an immature golden eagle. So we now have something else to watch for on our trips out there.
Sue P. improving her photography skills daily with this barred owl taken last evening in Clarenden.
And last but not least, two creatures I wouldn’t have expected to see in the same picture. I’m referring of course to the loon and the snowy owl, not Eric and his son. This was taken on 12/17. The loon had crashed in a field in Cabot, has been released into Champlain, and is reportedly doing fine. The owl was found emaciated and weak, and has been taken to a rehabber. Thank you Eric for passing this along.
Or, it could have been that it was new years eve and a loon and an owl went into a bar…..They both had too much to drink and eventually, hoots and yodels were exchanged. Even after the loon and owl police showed up, the loon couldn’t keep its mouth shut so it was taken somewhere to cool off and get something to eat. The owl was found to have a long standing problem and agreed to rehab to help with its recovery. Yes, I like that story better. M.
It was a fantastic finish to the year today. A fast ride out to West Addison and back gave us a look at at least 14 roughies and red tails although a couple of those may have been some other hawk. Our first sighting was on Swamp Rd. in Salisbury and the last was on Weybridge St. about a mile out of Middlebury. We checked out a barn on Town Line Rd. just west of Jersey St. where a couple folks have reported a mature snowy but it was vacant when we went by. The immature snowy was sitting on the box near WAGS, as usual. A couple folks reported that they have seen it fly or have seen the box empty. I’ll keep a positive though about that one.
I did take some long distance pictures today but don’t have to bore you with those. The adult below was sitting in a tree right at the middle of the goose viewing area. If you head out there tomorrow, the pull off is extremely slippery. I wouldn’t go in there without 4WD and I would keep it to about 3MPH. Brakes are worthless, that’s how bad it is. It’s still worth going though, you can stay on the road if need be.
I’d like to tell you that we trekked 2 miles back in the fields and crawled on our bellies through the snow to get into position to get this shot. But, it was feeding on a squirrel in a yard about 6 feet off Weybridge St. and was shot out the car window. We’ll take our pictures wherever we can get them. Happy New Year to all. Mike
It was another day of great bird watching in West Addison. Between about 11:30 and 1:00, we saw an adult snowy hunting the field across from the goose viewing area, and the immature sitting on the box just east of WAGS. While sitting at the viewing area, we also saw two rough legged and a probable red tail. From there down 17 to Lake St, up Lake to Atherton to Jersey north to Goodrich, we saw probably another 12-14 or more rough legged and redtails. Nothing close enough to get a good picture but watching them soar and dive was more than reward enough. We were often watching 2 birds at the same time.
We are all testing the limits of our cameras trying to get that great shot. This first one is from Jim R, taken yesterday near the viewing area.
Some of the experienced birders there today were expressing concern about this one on the box. They say it’s one hatched this spring and are wondering if it ever leaves its perch. Has anyone gone by in the last few days and seen the box top vacant?
This contribution form Sue P, trying out her Christmas present today. Looks like it works pretty well to me. This was also by the viewing area. Enjoy, Mike
Snowy Owl 3
Rosie and I, and many more people had a field day in West Addison today. In the hour and a half between 10:30 and noon, we saw at least 3 rough legged hawks, 2 red tailed hawks, a mature eagle, and 2 snowy owls. There were other hawks we couldn’t identify too.
We were watching this rough legged perched in a tree when it flew towards us and caught whatever it has in its mouth. This was on the north side of 17 just east of the junction of 17 and Jersey St. We saw 3 hawks on the left side of 17 between there and Lake St. On Atherton St, another one was on the ground on something large that it was tearing apart. No good picture of that, or of the eagle that flew from the ground about a hundred yards away. There were 2-3 more hawks on the north side of Atherton as we came down.
This Snowy was on a the corner of a shed in a field about 100 yards east of the junction of Atherton and Jersey. There must have been 20 people there and many walked to within 100 feet to take pictures. It didn’t seem to bother the bird at all. I never would have seen it except for the people.
This one is the good one because it has been there since Christmas day at least and it’s easy to find if you know where to look. It’s on the north side of 17, less than 1000 feet east of the junction of 17 and Lake St. It is a little patch of trees 100 yards or less off the road with just fields around it. The nesting box is easy to see before you get abeam the patch of woods but very hard once you are right beside it. The bad news is that there is no where to park except half on the road. If you look at a map, all the directions should make sense. Feel free to call if I can be helpful, this is too great an opportunity to miss. Enjoy, Mike
Dead Creek viewing area is on Rt. 17 in Addison, just west of the junction with 22A. All of that end of Rt 17 is wide open fields that are rich with birds. All roads off 17 are good too. If you can find your way to the Tritown water station off Lake St, I counted over 20 eagles there a couple springs ago.
Here are notes from folks who have gone looking. This first is from Andrew and Bethany M. who went on Christmas.
Andrew and I went out hopefully yesterday to look for snowy owls – much to our wonder and amazement, we saw 4!!!!! One huge, gorgeous male, perched high in a tree across from the snow goose viewing at Dead Creek, a female on an osprey platform on Gage Rd. , a juvenile on a silo off Rte. 17, and another juvenile on an owl nesting box near WAGS – absolutely astonishing!
The second is from John and Sherry K. who tried yesterday.
We were out on 17 mid-late morning. Made the loop out 17 and back via 125.
Stopped at the Dead Creek visitors’ platform. Saw no Snowy Owls but we did
see FIVE eagles along the way, each one sitting alone atop a tall tree.
Rosie and I are headed there this morning. You’ll hear from us when we get back. Mike
Good morning folks,
A light dusting of snow last night and crystal clear skies this morning have made for a picture perfect day here. Inside, the smell of apple pies cooking has me ready for a meal that is still several hours away.
I hope Santa brought you all everything you hoped for. Sue W. got her present on Monday when she saw not one, but five snowy owls in the Dead Creek area. Many folks go a lifetime without seeing one so this is really wonderful. Thank you for sharing it Sue.
Merry Christmas to all. M.