Thursday, November 16, 2006

Snowy Owls--Already?

Last December snowy owls were all over the place, everywhere but here, as I wrote in Whither Snowys? Snowy owls came south in near record numbers (see this report from the GBBC). I've never seen one, so I published photos of a nice location for one to visit, but either not good enough, or they don't read blogs.

This fall Dave of Bird TLC was fortunate enough to have a snowy come to live with him (an owl from the rehab centre where he volunteers that cannot be returned to the wild). Today I read that one had been spotted yesterday (check out the wonderful photos) in Prescott-Russell (at Les Oiseaux de Prescott-Russell et d'ailleurs). That's not terribly far away, a couple hundred kilometres to the northeast of Thomasburg. A quick blog search revealed another snowy spotted in the the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, in Massachusetts, last weekend. That's southeast of me. Clearly I've got to move east!

9 comments:

Cindy said...

hi straanger, I sure have missed your blog- and yep, it's snowy owl season.. they generally follow the lake Huron coast here and end up in a county inland that resembles the tundra they're used to.. I've been fortunate to see 3 via a scope and photograph one. I hope you get your look this year, they're so so beuautiful :)

John Haig said...

Hi Pam...never seen a snowy? You've got to get yourself over to Amherst Island or Wolfe Island sometime during the winter...you're not that far from either and both are almost sure bets. Some winters it's not hard to find close to a dozen on an afternoon drive around either island - even in a quiet year 2 or 3 will almost always be fairly obvious. Presquile PP often has one or two hanging out during the winter as well.

bev said...

Years ago, we had Snowy owls hanging around our farm for a few weeks in winter. They would sit on top of the fence posts near the barn door. When we had goats and horses, there were always mice around the barnyard, as they were attracted by the grain and hay seed on the ground. These days, there are usually some Snowy Owls that hunt in fields to the west side of Ottawa in winter.

Pamela Martin said...

Cindy, thanks for dropping by. You have been fortunate--I wonder if nothing right around me looks quite right for these owls.

John, yes, I've heard of the great sightings at Amherst and Wolfe. It's been on my to-do list to get to Amherst for some winter birding--this may be the year

Bev, how lovely to have them right around you!!

Dave said...

Pam, you can always visit us over here in Alaska. About every 4 or 5 years their food supply dwindles and they travel a little farther from home. Last year was the year. Maybe next time. I just count myself among the lucky ones this time.

Pamela Martin said...

Dave, I'd love to! If and when money and time converge, I hope before I'm done, I'd love to take a trip across the arctic--could start with a drive up the Alaska highway, then airhop across, ending with a visit to Arctic Bay (where I hear there's a great B&B) then home again.

Dave said...

Pam, Keep my email address for when you make that trip. My wife Ruth and I would love to show you the sights.

Lynne said...

I've never seen a snowy either. Most winters I read about one that makes it's way down to the MPLS-ST PAUL airport. Chasing down a snowy hanging out by the FED-EX trucks doesn't appeal to me. Maybe I'll get lucky and see on in northern Minnesota some time!

Pamela Martin said...

Thanks, Dave--will do!

Lynne, I first heard of people seeing snowy owls here in the south when they were reported at the airport in Toronto. I agree that hanging out at airports to watch birds is not terribly appealing--but they certainly seem to appeal to these owls.