Monday, December 5, 2011

Snowy Owl success!

Okay, so I saw a Snowy Owl.  It was actually a while back now, and I'd been hoping to have a better picture to post, but here it is in all of its splendor:
Wowwww... white blob! :)  I was inspired to post this, because there are posts floating around on Tweeters about the Snowy Owl invasion, and about the line people are negotiating between giving the birds some room, and trying to get a sweet picture.

So, the invasion, at any rate, is underway.  As of 12/5 here, I can think of reports from Clallam (3-4), Grays Harbor (7), Pacific (1), Skagit (?), Snohomish (2), King (1 in Renton??? still haven't found it - maybe others), Kitsap (1), Island (1), Thurston (1), Asotin (2), Walla Walla (1), Okanogan (1), Douglas (?), and Lincoln (?), and Whitman Counties!  It will be interesting to see what it grows to in the end - there are still new ones popping up every now and then.

The one above was from Snohomish County, and I found it the day before Thanksgiving, making a run up after school was done for the half-day.  I actually birded a little in Island County first, on Camano Island, visiting Iverson Spit and Ustalady Road.  The highlight there was definitely Iverson Spit, where I ran into a lot of sparrows - Golden-crowned, Junco, Song, Towhee, Lincoln's and Fox, all packed into a short walk from the trailhead.  A Ruby-crowned Kinglet was thoroughly investigating my car, and I got a picture of it.
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Ustalady Point
On Eide Road in Stanwood, I put on the boots, and hiked along the dike.  The Stillaguamish was pretty high from a lot of rain that week, and there were several places where the water was pushing through parts of the dike.  The highlights of the walk were definitely the Short-eared Owls.  They were hunting on both sides of the river, giving me great views, and a few decent photos.
Short-eared Owl - Eide Road, Snohomish County

Short-eared Owl
 In the end, the Snowy Owl was too far away to get a better picture, but that's fine.  I got decent views in the binoculars, and I think I'm a softie when it comes to owls.  Actually getting to see one is more than I ever really expect!

Way more than I'd ever expect.  A two-owl picture, with a
Short-eared Owl in the foreground, and Snowy behind.

Okay, now I think I'm down to one trip left: next weekend with Gray's Harbor on the way down (Saturday), and Skamania on Sunday.  Two posts or so left, then a return to 'normal'!

1 comment:

  1. I LIKE background shots with the wildlife in there somewhere. I've got so many of these myself. Ha! I really enjoy reading your postings on Tweeter's, by the way, and I can't wait to read up on your blog.