After our unsuccessful search for Snowy Owls I thought I would look back at my photos from the past and reassure myself that we did actually see Snow Owls on some of those excursions. I can still hardly believe the first one, in February 2017, but here it is.
All the Snowy Owls we saw that year were sitting on the ground, beside fences where there's a bit of longer grass, like this one. None of them were very close, but it was certainly a thrill to see them.
That year was so successful that we were definitely spoiled, expecting to have the same success every year, but now I think we witnessed an exceptional event among Snowy Owls, to see so many close together.
This is the unbelievable photo, 15 Snowy Owls along the fence in the back corner of a field, Definitely a long distance away, but we did have serious binoculars with us, and verified that all of these little white dots were in fact owls. I have never heard of such a group of Snowies together before or since.
There were a further 6 owls spread out along the other fence at the back of the same field. Do you blame us for being spoiled in future years? And we've gone back to the same general area each year since.
In 2018 we only saw one Snowy Owl, and that when we weren't expecting it, just driving home from a visit to Conn. It was on a fencepost and when we stopped to look (we never got out of the car on any of these jaunts) it flew off to a small tree in a fencerow nearby.
After failing to spot one in 2019 or 2020, a year ago on that fateful day, January 6th, 2021,we went off for our annual drive again and were successful in seeing this Snowy Owl, while reading news reports of rioters storming the U.S. capitol. We were appalled! We do follow American new quite closely, even if we can never really comment on it.
This photo shows what we're looking for as we drive around, and you can see how we might easily miss it - just a slight white spot on the top of a hydro pole. Mrs. F.G. is the one with the sharpest eyes.
This is a closer look once I zoomed in and cropped the picture. I always snap a quick shot to start with for the record, in case it flies away quickly.
So there you have it, three years in which we've seen the majestic Snowy Owls (and two in which we didn't). But they've given us much more pleasure than simply counting our sightings, for they are what inspires us to go for those long winter drives like my last post showed, even if we don't see any owls. We've both got deeper connections to an entire part of the map thanks to our searching for Snowies. I'm sure some would disagree, but I think much of the pleasure comes from the pursuit rather than the successful conclusion.
Both those lines of owls against the fences are exceptional, but the one with 15 owls is unbelievably spectacular. That field must have been crawling with meadow voles or the owls would have moved on to a better restaurant. Since I've retired and COVID struck we've begun taking occasional long drives to see new country and some of the places where I spent so many years working.ReplyDelete
I think snowy owls are an irruptive species, meaning that they come and go every year or so. And it's possible that our state bird, the goldfinch is that way, too. Beautiful captures of a wonderful bird, FG. Thanks so much for sharing.ReplyDelete
I think I've only seen a couple of these beautiful birds and both last winter. You inspire me with your drives to find them. 15 in a row! That's amazing!ReplyDelete
I especially like that last shot! I have only ever seen one of them and that was many years ago now.ReplyDelete
You do have some amazing shots from the past. I hope that there is still a chance for you to see some this year. It is a fascinating behavior that they sit in the snow. I guess it keeps people from seeing them.ReplyDelete
Lovely photographs, especially the last one.ReplyDelete
All the best Jan
I love getting out an seeing what’s around, I have never seen an owl, but getting out and looking is great! You found snowy owl heaven one year!ReplyDelete
I really like it and I hope there is something newReplyDelete
2016 was a heckuva year for you.ReplyDelete
That was a real Parliament of Owls!ReplyDelete
That's quite a thing to see so many Snowy Owls in one place. I've only ever seen one snowy owl and I'm sure I've driven right by many more. I agree with you about 'much of the pleasure comes from the pursuit rather than the successful conclusion'. That can be said about many aspects of photography as well.ReplyDelete
What amazing photos! I've only seen one Snowy and that was years ago. I love owls and am thrilled when I see one! Enjoy your weekend, DianeReplyDelete
I don't believe I've ever seen a snowy owl, outside of photos. What a beautiful bird!ReplyDelete
So beautiful...a bird I've yet to see in the wild. But I admit to not driving around fields as you did, so I've not really searched for them! The photo of the big parliament of owls is news-worthy. Much better than that of the US which still features the Jan 6 insurrection and getting justice for those who not only took part, but those who organized it. I'm almost as tired of it as the pandemic!ReplyDelete
They are marvelous birds.ReplyDelete
I've never seen a snowy owl, but I'm pretty sure I live in the wrong area. A beautiful bird!ReplyDelete
They're certainly a lot easier to spot when there's not much snow around.ReplyDelete
oooooh fg, how lucky you have been!! if you saw one every time out, you would not appreciate the sightings as much. sighting 15 snowy owls in the same place at the same time, a miracle!! i enjoyed your images, i have never seen one!!ReplyDelete
How wonderful seeing them! We haven't seen any in several years. They are around, but not many. Driving around looking for them isn't as fun for me without eating out!ReplyDelete