Monday, January 11, 2010
Snowy Owl =YES!
After getting word late yesterday afternoon that a Snowy Owl had appeared just north of Princeton on the Separation Lakes Road, I simply could not pass up the chance to see it. Left Penticton at 6am, drive to the general area and WHAMO! spotted the bird on a powerpole and it wasn't even 8am yet!!! I had been preparing for a long day of scanning fields and cruising the farmroads in the area but this bird just wanted to be seen. I sat underneath it for a good 45minutes and it didn't seem to mind at all. At one point it's eye caught something moving on the ground and it flew down and punched through the snow. A miss I think, since it never seemed to eat anything- just sat there in the snow looking kind of nonchalant (check out the mini-horns in the pics!).
After snapping some record shots and soaking in its majestic stare, I continued north up to Osprey Lake- a road I had never taken before which eventually leads to Prairie Valley Road in Summerland. I stopped many times along this road in the spruce and lodgepole pine forest in the hopes of finding some Pine Grosbeaks or some such thing but no luck. I finished the day birding with Leslie Robertson along the Penticton Lakeshore where the male EURASIAN WIGEON and 2 MEW GULLS were easily found, and in behind the yacht club we found a ground-feeding flock of 7 or so YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS. My only other year-tick for the day (other than the owl) was a WESTERN BLUEBIRD (heard but not seen at the yacht club).