January 15 – Short-eared Owl Reprise

In my opinion, there is no such thing as seeing too many owls or looking at owls too many times. Today I did a quick a walk-through at Spenard Crossing (where the only visible birds were Mallards crowded into a tiny open water area). The place where the American Dipper has often been is almost completely frozen over with very little place for a dipper to dip.

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I then went out past the airport. It was earlier in the day than when I was there a couple of days ago and I expected to have to wait for a possibility of a Short-eared Owl sighting. I arrived at 3:24 pm and by 3:30 the owl came over me and then flew out into the field. For almost a half hour I watched it hunting, banking at the fence when it got near it, periodically landing in the snow and hunting some more. All of a sudden it came toward me, flew over me and landed high in a deciduous tree across the road from me! The light was quite low by then but I managed to get pictures of it flying and sitting. It made my day.

We are expecting even more snow before tomorrow. It does appear to really be winter now.

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