Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Snowys, GHO, Buntings Can we do it again? (121216)

Well after a record shattering day on Saturday with 10 Snowy birds, and a GHO, deciding what to do for a Sunday trip, was going to be difficult. We had planned to go out to the Weaselhead to get some Goshawk action and improve our photo's of Boreal Chickadees, but Tim had opted for a Snowy run, as he had never seen a Snowy yet.  We started out with the same bird as yesterday, but it was very skittish, and no shots were captured of that unit.We cruised by the formerly frost laden building of yesterday and found a second owl in the area where we found the first bunch of Sharpies for our second bird of the day.  It too was pretty skittish and flew before we got any photos. In the same area where we found the Snowy and Snow buntings yesterday, we found Buntings, lots of them.
We figure there were about 1500 -2000 birds, it was quite a sight.
It was amazing to observe this phenomon. Sheesh here it is 9:15 a.m. and we finally have a bird that will sit still long enough for us to get an evidence photo.

We weren't enjoying the sun of yesterday, but we endevoured to persevere, and the sun came out. We really appreciated having the sun, I believe it helped Tim find this GHO resting the day away in the trees.
After leaving there, which was tough to do as the Redpolls were very friendly and posing for us, we found a Prairie Falcon, the second "first" of the day for Tim! We were rewarded a little later with some even more hospitable Redpolls, here is one of my favourites.
My wife selects this pose as her favourite. My best redpoll shots so far.
As we continued through the day we found one more Snowy, this guy was on the ground. As an observation, this shot was taken at 11:30 in the morning, take a look at the length of the shadow the owl produces.  We are getting close to the shortest day of the year (daylight wise), but you can tell the sun doesn't get up very high this time of year up here in the Great White North.
A little later, after a brief side trip, we are pretty certain we found this unit in a more relaxed situation, and provided us with our best photo op of the day. Here is another no-crop image.
Some more Sharptails and other little birds through the following hour, and sharp eyed Tim picks up another GHO having a siesta in the sun. Both of these were excellent spots, in my humble opinion.
We grabbed that GHO on a last round-a-bout of a productive area and, on this trip through, we found this little group of Whitetails, with at least three bucks and as many doe's.
As we finished the loop, we popped by our now favourite Snowy #4, again with no crop.
This wrapped up our journey for the day. Another super successful day with 6 owls. Tim was happy with his first opportunity to chase these fabulous looking birds.  We haven't found a mature male yet, but they too should show up soon. I hope everyone has a super Wildlife week.

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