Sunday, March 4, 2012

No Snow But Still Snowy

I was holding on to this post in order to have something new for you to read during the doldrums of February and March.  However, I can't hold onto it any longer because there are no doldrums.  The weather is warmer than I can remember for Feb or March and the birds are headed north already from their winter homes.  We are seeing shorebirds on our beach in the Villas such as Dunlin, Red Knots, Piping Plover and Black-bellied Plovers - all of which I just saw a bunch of on Bunche Beach (get it? a bunch on bunche).  We are also getting reports of other birds arriving.

Anyway, all of that to say that Lori, Tara and I got to see a Snowy Owl a few weeks ago at a reservoir in north Jersey.  As usual, the weather was not very cooperative with high winds that numbed our hands.  Here are a few photos. 

 Snowy Owl tucked away in the rocks.  This is the back side of the damn that holds the water into the reservoir at Merrill Creek.

 Cropped to show the owl trying to doze off

Scratching her head.  We are pretty sure that this is a "she" due to the amount of black barring on her feathers.  Males tend to be whiter.

In case you couldn't tell from the recent posts, I am on a bit of an owl prowl lately.  I am hoping to see seven species.  I will post updates as they occur.

Di and I are off to see a vagrant Broad-tailed Hummingbird that apparently spent the winter in someone's yard in Cape May.  This species is rarely seen east of the Rockies and is the first documented record in New Jersey.  It would be a shame if we didn't spend 15 minutes to witness this historic event and wish the little guy well before he takes off for Colorado.

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