Wednesday, January 25, 2012

January 21-23, 2012 More Amherst Island birding

 The island raptor numbers continued to change by the day. Over a 3-day tour we managed to find everything that was in the "Owl woods" on my Friday tour but if took a lot of searching! With a very low number of owls it takes longer to locate them and we never had the same owls the following day. On Saturday, January 21st, a late afternoon visit produced both Snowy owl and Short-eared owl but no owls in the "Owl Woods". On January 22nd our first run out we found a Northern Saw-whet Owl, different from Friday's. It made me wonder if there was a movement of saw-whets either north or south? A late afternoon visit to the island produced "0" owls. Not sure if everything is just moving around the island. Our final visit on January 23rd to the "Owl Woods" was again different. No saw-whets but I finally located 1 very  cooperative Long-eared Owl which made the day! We did a quick run around the island and found a small number of hawks, total 20, with the high count coming from Northern Harrier 8, Red-tailed Hawk 6, and Rough-legged Hawk 6. There is very little snow on the island and it appears that there are few rodents. Hopefully things will pick up soon.
good birding, Bruce

A Short-eared Owl  roosting in a White Spruce.  

I've observed Short-eared Owls roosting numerous times but this was my first time to actually see one sitting and able to photograph it.  

A Northern Saw-whet Owl sitting with prey. 

So far, very few Northern Saw-whet Owls have been observed this winter. 

Even Long-eared Owls has been very scarce this winter. 

Sunset on Amherst Island. 

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