Saturday, January 26, 2008


It has been a busy, but fantastic 22 hours. I went Friday evening for the sunset showing of "SHORT EARED OWLS flying with NORTHERN HARRIERS," in Northern Carroll County, MD. I laughed. I cried. I could see it again and again! It was well worth the hour and half drive. It was so far from Annapolis, that I could see skiers on Ski Rountop in my scope!

At close range, watching SHORT EARED OWLS fly low and quiet over the fields is awe-inspiring. And to witness their aerial engagements and acrobatics with the Harriers, well that is entirely something else!

I did manage to get lost on the way home, adding an extra hour to my trip home. (Sorry Emery!) Yeah, I knew I was causing some trouble for my friends and lovely wife when I saw a "Welcome to Pennsylvania!" sign. Argh!

This morning, after changing Declan, eating breakfast, drinking coffee and cleaning the house, I decided to go and see a NORTHERN SAW WHET OWL (NSWO) that has been roosting in Rockville. On the way over, there was a ton of traffic on the DC Beltway. Imagine that? So while I was parked on 495, I pulled out the iPhone and checked MDOSPREY for the latest bird sightings. Apparently, the WHITE WINGED CROSSBILL that was a regular in December, had reappeared to a back porch in Silver Spring near the Sligo Creek Parkway.

Noah, the homeowner, had posted at 11:30 AM. Lucky for me, I was stuck in traffic at the Silver Spring exit. It was now 12:30, so I figured that the bird had long since left Noah's feeders. Rather than go nowhere fast on the beltway, I changed course and decided to search for the elusive WHITE WINGED CROSSBILL.




Got it! Eating on the feeders from the time of my arrival until when I left nearly 45 minutes later. Now... if only I had any skills as a photographer! Since I don't, and the sun didn't shine on those thistle sock feeders for more that two minutes, you'll have to just deal with these images. But know that I am learning. Bills don't get crossed in a day!Traffic let up a bit after that and I made my way over to Rockville for the NSWO.

For over twenty minutes, I walked all around that tree where the owl has been roosting... looking and looking and looking. Nothing! All of the sudden I hear, "PLOP." There, on the ground before me lay a freshly deposited OWL PELLET (amidst all of the other goodies that this cute little owl had been leaving as a sign of it's presence).



Again, I stink at photos. I could've touched the owl it was so close, but I used a zoom and stayed far away so as not to disturb the beast. Go ahead, try and make heads of tails of this owl... I can't!

If you really want to see this owl (and you know you do), visit Warren & Lisa's Blog!

Good Birding,


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