Thursday, December 19, 2013

More Snowy Owls!

I had been hoping to see a Snowy Owl in the Wallaceburg birding area lately, and yesterday I was informed that a couple were east of Sombra.  One was found by Josh Bouman at the Sombra solar farm.  Later, his father Mike saw that one and went for a short drive and came across another on Holt Line.
I made a quick jaunt up there before work this morning, but it was still somewhat dark and I did not find a Snowy.  (After this weekend, days will be getting longer!)
So, after work I decided to head back up there and found the solar farm owl on the fence parallel to Bentpath Line.  It is a heavily barred one.

I could not find the Holt Line bird, so on the way home I went down Whitebread Line.  The concession between that and Langstaff Line often harbours a Snowy Owl in winters when they are around.  It was a hunch, and sure enough right where they often are seen, one was atop a hydro pole.  This one co-operated nicely as I stopped my car beneath it.  The light was fading fast, but I managed a few photos.

"Hooo goes there?"

As everyone knows, there is a huge invasion in eastern North America of Snowy Owls.  It was only two years ago we had a very large invasion as well, but owls were seen in the west too.  Two years ago there seemed to be more around these parts.  The day I went to see the Great Gray Owl near Kingsville, I came across eight (8).  I specifically checked known locations on my travels.  Who knows how many I missed in nearby areas.  Normally it is about every four years we see an invasion.

It is interesting how these Snowy Owls frequent the same general spots in invasion years.  I already mentioned the location of the owl I found this evening, but there are a couple of other spots around Wallaceburg that I have seen Snowies on many occasions over the years.  I have not been able to check these enough.

The Erieau area is another good spot.  Every year at least one shows up there, and during invasion years, multiples occur.  I recall one CBC there were 12 in the area!

Probably the first Snowy Owl I ever saw was one along the 401 west of Tilbury.  Almost every year one would be seen on a fence post on the north side of the highway in the same general spot.

Other notes....
Lots of Long-tailed Ducks are on the St. Clair River once again this year.  It is interesting as they used to be quite rare!  In the last few years, they have been common.

This Port Lambton resident was up early this morning:

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