Snowy Owl

On Saturday we went to the bird sanctuary to have a peek around as during this time of year many migratory birds come through and have a rest. The bird sanctuary is well run and has an up-to-date list of species spotted in the past few days taped to the entrance window. Apparently one could spot 95 species in that sanctuary by keen-eyed birders who know where to look, which is to say, not us, with all our traipsing about, noses stuck in ID book, scratching heads, dropping mittens, eating mandarins, more flipping of pages, more scratching of heads, more peering through binoculars. We did see plenty of MALLARDS as they are so tame it's silly. We also saw pintails, green-winged teals, shovelers, herons, sandhill cranes, red-tailed hawks, harriers, red-wing blackbirds, chickadees, and a kingfisher.

 Fish and chips revived us at a pub and we decided to drive to an area on the dike where snowy owls have been spotted in the past few days. Easier said than done. More peering ensued as the marshy area stretched as far as the eye could see in either direction while further to the front of us it was just water and then headland. We dawdled and then a birder came up with his scope so we asked him what HE was looking for, to which he replied, "Snowy Owls". Ah HA! He spotted one right away while chatting to us and we trundled over to get within viewing distance. I reckon birders must be the friendliest people on earth as we peered through the scope and chatted away with his family. The scope was fantastic and you could see all the markings on the owl. Mark said it was a young female as she was rather marked. Beautiful bird. Mark and my husband then decided to slog into the icy marsh to take some pics. This pic below is one of Ken's and was super pleased with it. The sun had almost disappeared behind the low cloud bank but for a final few minutes it reappeared and bathed everything in that slow, gold light that you get just before it finishes for the day.