Saturday, February 8, 2014

Snowy Owl Olympics

I did not really know where to go today due to the recent winter conditions.  Travelling is iffy, too much snow to do much walking and very few birds around this winter, but I drove up to Sarnia and back.
Yesterday I got to thinking that there may be two Snowy Owls along Langstaff Line, but I had only ever seen one at a time.  Every day this past week I saw one usually first thing in the morning and again  late in the day.
This morning my suspicions were confirmed.  Within sight of each other, I saw two dark Snowy Owls each atop barns!  Most of the photos I have been getting this winter of record shots due to distance.
One of the darkest ones I have seen

After that encounter, I headed up to Holt Line back of Sombra but did not find a Snowy Owl.  Not even a bird at the solar farm either.
I drove along the river looking at some waterfowl.  I have not spent much time out there this winter due to the conditions.  With tons of ice and snow, it is difficult to get a look at things.
Off Guthrie Park (now all iced in!)

Sarnia has really iced in lately too.  The river is open under the bridge of course and lots of Long-tailed Ducks are around.
I headed east of Sarnia hoping to find some owls, but nary a one.

I really needed to go for a walk, so I went down to Moore WMA on Bickford.   I did not go far due to deep snow, but did see three Northern Flickers among other things.  I wonder if any Yellow-rumped Warblers survived as I have not seen any there since earlier in December.

hanging ice clumps from high water

I decided to head over to Sombra again.  Only two Northern Harriers at the solar farm, but farther south I encountered a Snowy Owl on Holt Line.  It was the lighter individual that has been hanging around (I assume).

First time I got a flight photo

I did not find the darker bird today.
Heading SE, I decided to check out Pretty Road and come out Charlemont Line where there has been a Snowy Owl this winter.  Just before I hit Charlemont, a dark Snowy Owl was in the field on the NW corner.

I had just turned the corner heading west, and another was on the south side of Charlemont!  Interesting.

I headed towards Kimball Road and spotted yet another atop a silo.  This was a lighter bird, likely the one that I have seen before in the area.

OK, time to head home.  Just a ways down Kimball, I spotted another owl flying across the road to perch on at TV antenna. Another lighter bird, but I was unable to get a photo.
In that case, I better head into town the back way via Langstaff Line just because....  There was yet another owl atop a pole!  This was a slightly lighter bird than the previous ones I saw farther west earlier in the day.

Eight in the Wallaceburg CBC circle is a new record and no doubt I missed some (eg. the darker bird at Sombra)!
One really wonders how many Snowy Owls are out there!


  1. Hi there!! I just started reading your blog and decided to head out to Langstaff line to see if we could spot any owls. Our first drive down...nothing, so we went to Corruna to see the bald eagles (we saw 13!). On the way home we took Langstaff and saw 2 dark snowy owls!!! One one a blue barn, the other on a telephone pole!! Thanks for writing your blog and keep up the good work :)

  2. I've been following your blog too and I really want to see the snowy owl but with the weather the way it has been, and is, I haven't gone far. Could you tell me how to get to Holt Line so if the roads and weather are clear one day, perhaps I can talk hubby into going for a ride. Maybe I'll ask Irene W. if she wants to come too.