One of our parents friends met us at our house at seven and we set out to Oak Hammock Marsh. We were teamed with Christian to scour Zone 5 for birds. It was very very empty and open, so not as many of the woodland birds were as easy to find.
|Map of the zones|
After staying a bit and taking many pictures (and hearing some Snow Buntings and Lapland Longspurs), we headed on into our 'territory'.
We stopped to check out a few places, and while walking through a bit of bush, encountered to large dogs! Though they didn't come too near us, and they looked friendly enough, I believe a St. Bernard and a Newfoundland dog (two dogs I really love).
And since driving slowly down the road, stopping at half the people driveways, and staring into their yards is suspicious, we had quite a few people staring with their dogs beside them, and asking if we were okay, and even picture taking of our licence plate.
|A very Snowy Owl.|
|Snowy Owl yawning|
Now what is this? If you hadn't seen the previous pictures you could be wondering. It looks like a lump of snow stacked on a post, but no, this is the owl.
|Snowy Owl (emphasis on the 'snowy'!!)|
We stopped at an old abandoned house to see what we could see, owls often roost in old barns. We checked a couple but didn't find anything.
Yes.... this was a very old house, seeing as a tree grew right through this machine.
Near the end of the count we spotted some birds in some trees. Christian identified them, White-winged Crossbill! They were a lifer at the time, and the first crossbill species I'd seen.
We counted 12 species all together, one less than last years count.
As we headed out, we stopped to see where we first saw the Snowy Owl. Soon enough, we found it perched on a pole, so we were able to get a series of photos of it, and a few flight shots.
|Looks rather sleepy - Snowy Owl|
It flew one last time, this time across a field and on a different pole. Now it would get some peace, or maybe not... another car had already stopped and was watching it.
It was a fantastic time, with two lifers (three for William, the Lapland Longspur was a first for him), and some great pictures! Thanks Christian for spending the time with us!