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Daily Archives: February 26, 2012

07:46 hrs. – Owl Prowl Report


Saturday morning  found the Strathroy area with cold temperatures, high winds and blustery snow.  This continued until early afternoon when the wind died down, the snow stopped falling and the sun came out surrounded by lots of blue sky.

So the 16 participants in the Owl Prowl had excellent weather conditions for their trip.  We met at the seniors centre parking lot in Strathroy and from there headed out to the School and Seed Roads area.  School Road, Cuddy Drive and then Seed Road all north of Egremont were driven VERY slowly.  The fields, trees, bushes, fence posts, etc were scoured by 16 pairs of binoculars.  We looked anywhere a SNOWY OWL might be found.  The group did see quite a few SNOW BUNTINGS and HORNED LARKS, but no SNOWY.  Eventually we crossed Egremont Drive headed south on Seed.  And then we saw it.  Way off in the field.  A VERY white SNOWY OWL.  All the searching had finally paid off.

During the drive down the back roads, as we worked our way down to the Melbourne area on Mayfair Road all the way from Calvert Drive to Hyndman Drive, we encountered several rather large flocks of SNOW BUNTINGS (1,000′s), an AMERICAN KESTREL, a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, several RED-TAILED HAWKS, and HORNED LARKS.  4 White-tailed Deer, standing off in a field near the edge of a wood lot, observed us with some trepidation. 

We arrived at Hyndman Drive about 6 PM and we were greeted with a sighting of 8 TUNDRA SWAN flying overhead in a westerly direction.  As we slowly drove along Hyndman, 7 or 8 NORTHERN HARRIERS were seen coursing over the fields and crossing from one side of the road to the other.  A small flock of CANADA GEESE flew in a landed off in the field.  Eventually we pulled our vehicles off to the side of the road, turned off the motors and just sat and watched.  Right around 6:30, two or possibly three, SHORT-EARED OWLS flew up from a marshy area along side of the vehicles, crossed the road in front of us and went out over the field to the north.  By this time, it was quite dark and the owls were soon lost to sight.

Time to head back towards town.  Along the way, we stopped at several woodlots and called for EASTERN SCREECH OWLS.  We stuck out on the first 3 attempts, but on the fourth attempt, 2 owls responded.  One daring owl even came out and landed on a thin branch right at the edge of the trees within 6 or 7 feet of the vehicles, giving everyone excellent views of the beautiful little bird.

And that ended the Owl Prowl.  A very enjoyable and rewarding time was had by all.

Bird List for the trip:

  • CANADA GOOSE
  • TUNDRA SWAN
  • NORTHERN HARRIER
  • SHARP-SHINNED HAWK
  • RED-TAILED HAWK
  • AMERICAN KESTREL
  • ROCK PIGEON
  • MORNING DOVE
  • EASTERN SCREECH-OWL
  • SNOWY OWL
  • SHORT-EARED OWL
  • BLUE JAY
  • AMERICAN CROW
  • HORNED LARK
  • EUROPEAN STARLING
  • AMERICAN TREE SPARROW
  • DARK-EYED JUNCO
  • HOUSE SPARROW
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Posted by on February 26, 2012 in Uncategorized