Saturday, March 15, 2014

More Loons and Snowy Owls

A favorite haunt for the snowy owl
I decided since today was going to be a nice day with just a little rain in the morning to travel back up to Rye Hampshire to see if I could locate finally the snowy owl that has been present there all winter. When we left home the temperature was in the high 40s at it was cloudy and getting up to the north shore we did run into rain. Our first stop was Salisbury Beach State Reservation where the spiked looking no snowy owl was visible. So we drove right up to Rye where in the Rye State Park parking lot there were people observing the snowy owl. However, even though we can see the snowy owl its perch really left something to be desired. It was sitting on the corner of the roof of a pink house. It apparently had been there all morning. We talked with the people and after a while since the bird did not to move we drove up to the pink house so we did get some pictures anyway of the Rye snowy owl.
Snowy owl on the peak of the roof
Since we're on the highway I drove down to the Rye harbor where the last time that we were up here there was a lot of loon and duck action in the harbor. Today however the harbor was quiet. Driving back to the state park we passed over a small bridge and on the marsh side the area was filled with loons. Back in the parking lot we met Mike who I met on a previous trip. We talked for a while and watched the snowy hoping that it would fly over to the beach. No such luck. I decided well let's go photographed the loons and we spent a good hour observing and photographing the loons as they fed and preened.
Common loon eating a shellfish

Common loon with the wings spread after preening

Common loon twisting its head and looking to the sky with its wing outspread
We traveled back down to Salisbury, this time having better luck in that we had a snowy owl on the ground within 30 feet of the shore. At times if left its feathers and was clacking about another snowy owl that was further down the road sitting high in a tree. Apparently the snowy's have a territory set out for themselves and in the past have had clashes over the territory.
Snowy owl all ruffled up with its mouth open as it clacked at a distant snowy owl
Once again, three times I missed the snowy flying. The first it flew away before I was even set up and the other two times I was answering people's questions and of course took my eye off the bird. I felt was important to answer people's questions rather than just ignore them. How long the snowy's will stay is an unknown question especially since we are getting into another cold spell starting tomorrow. If you have not seen of photograph the snowy owl this season here in New England I would do it as soon as possible.

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