Monday, February 2, 2009

Snowy Owl Encounter

Yesterday, my husband and I went to Tommy Thompson Park to find some birds. This park is also known as the Leslie Street Spit. It is a landfill site that has been turned into a park. It is now an Important Bird Area, because many birds have stopped there.

As it was, we were scouring the shoreline in hopes of seeing the King Eider ducks again. What we did end up seeing were a pair of Snowy Owls. We flushed one by accident, and it ended up flying over to where the other one was. The first was very white; much whiter than the one we saw a couple of months ago. Of course, that one was the second bird: it was more heavily barred than its companion.

One of the birds had been rescued by a nearby homeowner, and released. It seems to be quite content. The other is a juvenile, and the subject of much attention. Some birders seemed to think that it was being harassed...well, it hasn't gone anywhere so I guess it must be happy here,too.

We saw some gulls, scaup, mergansers, redheads, and buffleheads.We saw what appeared to be an injured song sparrow, and finally the northern goshawk, and a juvenile northern shrike. Not too bad by any standards, I would say.

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