Season's Greetings Folks,
Been so long since I visited, I forgot my password. But thanks to our trusty administrator's procedure to come with a new one, I am up and running and able to make this entry.
My field notes pretty well tell the story:
Snowy Owl ::: Dad's Farm (southern Eaton County, Brookfield & Hamlin Townships near Jackson & Calhoun Counties.)
December 22, 2016
First observed in flight heading north along and over Royston Road.
Robert and I were in the truck driving north on Royston Road when we
sighted the bird flying along and over the road. We were a bit past the
peacock drain when we first saw the bird heading north. Flight was
characterized by steady deep wing beats (somewhat like a Rock Pigeon
but slower) and an occasional glide with wings in a strong dihedral position.
A bit erratic but not overly so. Underparts were white. End of wing tips were
black. Black and white checkerboard on back, along neck, and up onto head.
Short tail. Bird flew up and over fence row by the road to the west making a
wide curve coming back to the south and appeared to land in Robert's woods
about 400 yards from the road.
I spotted the owl an hour or so later perched on the fence row in a tree on
an open branch. More of a silhouette with large head and body with a cut off
tail. Very agitated and flew within a minute or so even though I was probably
300 yards from the bird. Bird flew to the east back across the road and
curved to the north.
This was a property first. Robert, a life long resident at 80 years of age, had
never seen one on the property. Bird of the year!
What a rush!!! Robert made the call and he don't make calls unless he's pretty darn sure of what he's looking at.
In so many words he said: "This is an immature female Snowy Owl. No doubt. What else could it be?" End of Id discussion.
Other birds sited or heard by myself or my brother or cousin in the area over the past few weeks include two mature Bald Eagles over by Onondaga, Snow Buntings, Screech Owl, Barred Owl & Brown-headed Cowbird. Also the usual feeder birds expected this time of year including goldfinch, junco, Tree Sparrow, House Sparrow, House Finch, Blue Jay, White-breasted Nuthatch, titmouse, chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, .... And a couple of feeder Fox Squirrels.
Wishing all of you good times over the holidays.