Friday, January 22, 2016

Owl Prowl

Today was a beautiful afternoon and evening.  Clear and calm.  Highly unusual for late Friday!
After work, I headed upriver as far as Courtright.  Of course there was not much to see on the river, par for the course this winter.  More ducks have been showing up (mainly Redhead). Yesterday there were quite a few on the Snye for a change, among other ducks and waterfowl.

On the way, I swung by the Sombra solar farm, as I planned to check the spot later for Short-eared Owls.  Sean Jenniskens was already waiting, but it was too early.  I continued up to Courtright.

Cathcart Park is usually one of the premier spots for seeing waterfowl in the winter, but there has not been much this year.

A wintering Bald Eagle was perched in a tree to the north, but a bit too far for a photo.
I drove some backroads seeing some usual birds, then stopped at Cundick Park for a few minutes before heading to the solar farm.  Sometimes there are waterfowl here at Stoke's Point.

Upon arrival at the Sombra solar farm, the sun was setting.

Sunset over Sombra

I only had to wait about five minute before two of the Short-eared Owls appeared in the distance.

The owls usually spend some time here each winter as it is a good place for mice and voles.  Northern Harriers are also a common sight here, but I did not see any today.
The owls do not get up until at least 5:30, so if you arrive before that, some patience is required.  We think they roost under the solar panels.

As it was a nice calm evening, I headed over to McKeough CA at Duthill.

Duthill Bridge

Right away I heard two Great Horned Owls hooting away.  One was visible.

I also heard a Long-eared Owl in the distance, but did not see it.  The Long-eared often spend some time here as there are some nice spruce trees to roost in.

Tomorrow morning will be spent in Steve Charbonneau territory.  Probably under sunny skies!  Wow!


  1. Sorry I missed you on this sunny Saturday. I had to be a Grandpa today for a one year old on her birthday. I guess that's fun, too.

    1. It was cloudy by the time I got home. Just cannot get a full day of sun!
      Could not find any of those "mythical" birds either!