Saturday, February 25, 2017

We Found the Elusive Snowy Owls!

After our failures of yesterday and a week ago, we sought more specific directions on finding the Snowy Owls that birders have been reporting, and headed out this morning.  It was about half-an-hour to the west, and we had a specific road we were headed for.

And following those directions from a birder who saw a lot of owls earlier this week, we hit the jackpot.  Mind you they were just white dots in the distance, but I cropped a few so we could tell they were actually Snowy Owls, not just lumps of snow.

This was our first view of the owls.  I've always thought of them as solitary, so we were very surprised to see so many together, but as I said, just white dots in the distance.  Thank goodness for binoculars!

We drove slowly down the road to see if we could get closer - but no luck.  Can you see the white dot a long distance down the fence, just below the tall tree in the distance?

Here's a close-up of the back right hand corner of that photograph!  By zooming in on the computer screen, I could make out 19 Snowy Owls in this picture - a remarkable congregation of owls to us!  Perhaps they're gathering to head for the Arctic!

Here's a very blurry, too-much-cropped look at that lone owl standing up on the left, the tiny white dot in the distance of the second photo above.

We drove slowly down the nearby roads, and saw several more, all of them at a distance, and all of them sitting along the fences.  Perhaps they were finding mice in the long grass beside those fences.

Cropped in as much as I could, you can actually see its eye among the white feathers.

Another one, along a drainage ditch.  There were none on fenceposts, none in the middle of fields, none in trees.  They were all on the ground, along fences (or this ditch) where there was some long grass.

Another cropping effort, revealing the eyes and beak.  We saw 25 Snowy Owls, all in the space of half a mile!  What a birding adventure!!  Next year we're going to get connected to the local birding group and get out there earlier.  I want to find one sitting on a fencepost right at the edge of the road for a portrait!

For local readers, there are all just north and east of the corner of Sideroad 25 and Conc. 8 of the former Elderslie Township, just north of Chesley.  The question of why there were so many Snowy Owls clustered very close together remains a mystery to us - unless there was an infestation of mice that attracted them.

22 comments:

  1. That's wonderful! I think that even though they were a distance away, it was still a magnificent adventure. Most of the ones I've seen are on the ground or on rooftops. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. They are so beautiful. I'm glad you found them

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow. Such a thrill to see so many of them, even though they were at a distance. Great effort and result!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congratulations on your find. It's mind-boggling to see so many snowy owls in one spot, an amazing congregation.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a gathering, are they called a " parliament" ? Way too far for even perfect eyesight to decipher, but your cropping gives us all the chance to see them. And to think with a birding group you will have excellent opportunities at another time.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You hit the owl jackpot! Glad you were able to find them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Neat! I haven't come across any.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, how amazing to see so many!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, you hit the snowy owl jackpot. Awesome to see so many owls together. Great photos. Happy Sunday, enjoy your day and the new week ahead!

    ReplyDelete
  10. What a great experience! I've never seen a snowy owl, but who couldn't love these beautiful birds. I imagine they are migrating for you to see so many together. I find a lot of good and interesting facts about birds on the Cornell University Ornithology site. Here's a page for the snowy: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Snowy_Owl/lifehistory

    You were rewarded for your efforts, and I hope you get that portrait shot!
    Wendy

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am envious of your adventure...and to see so many!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Amazing - stunning - wonderful. What a treat to see so many. I have seen one Snowy Owl - it flew across a pasture right beside our house - and I was lucky enough to be standing at the huge windows and could watch it. Amazing sight.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Glad you were able to finally see the Snow Owls but you really hit the jackpot. Beautiful Birds. Does this mean a larger lens to your collection?
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh, my goodness! I'd be absolutely giddy if I saw a snowy owl in person. Wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh WOW ! awesome captures . I would love to photograph snowy owls . What fun that must of been for you to see and capture all of them in the same spot . I would be soo giddy to see all of them at once ,heck just to see and get a photo of one for me would make me giggle like a kid ! Thanks for sharing , Have a good day !

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have never seen a Snowy Owl let alone a whole herd of them. Must have been a nice excited feeling when you spotted them.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, my, I would have loved being there. How awesome!

    ReplyDelete