Sunday, 14 November 2010

Snow and wobbly owls

Jenny and I farting about in the snow
Howdy - Jenny and I headed up the road a bit for a long weekend and spent a couple of nights up at Mount Washington.
We were rather surprised by the sheer volume of snow up there - it was spectacular!
Unfortunately, though, the cloud was very low for much of our stay and when we did try and head out for some decent hikes, visibility was reduced to under 200m.

Of course, we saw lots of grey jays; the colloquial 'whiskey jacks'. It's been several years since I last saw this species, so I was quietly delighted.
At one point we had at least 6, along side 8 Steller's jays, on the deck of our lodgings.  At least 3 of the grey jays were ringed.
See the photo below of one of the un-banded jays that liked our bread.
Otherwise, the birds were notable by only by their absence. A couple of ravens, a hairy woodpecker, a few chickadees & golden-crowned kinglets, a red-breasted nuthatch and brown creeper were all we could find.
Not even a crossbill was heard... mind you, the cone crop appeared very poor where we were.

We got back to Cedar late afternoon today (Sunday) and I managed a quick dash down to the estuary in the fading light. An adult female and a juv northern harrier, showed well hunting over the marsh and a single northern shrike was sat at the top of a hawthorn.
A single trumpeter swan was flying around and wildfowl on the river and estuary included pintail, American wigeon, Barrow's goldeneye, gadwall and bufflehead among others.
A short-eared owl soon came out to play and gave great views - once again I was treated to a display of 'how to make catching rodents look easy'.
After a while another owl emerged and again, showed well albeit in failing light.
I managed to get some truly terrible footage of the first bird, as you can witness here! Enjoy the wobbly owl.      



  1. Good stuff... hoping a SEO will be turning up at freeman's soon. Ray

  2. Hi Ray - I'm still enjoying your contributions to the blogosphere... thought you were going to be abandoning us for a moment there.

    Please, try and find more long-eareds this winter Ray, I long held a thought that they might be 'regular' down there and 08/09 was, as you know, amazing! Happy hunting.