Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Short Earred owl, Snowys, Buntings, and Elk or were they Santa's Reindeer? Merry Christmas! (121225)

With little on the agenda today, Jamie and I thought that we would see what Santa would bring us for presents. The thought was we would amble on down to a "hot lead" from Kerri, for the potential of a Short Earred Owl. We headed out at 9:00 a.m. with no anticipated schedule and high expectations along with -24C.  Jamie spied a lump in a tree that turned out to be a juvenile Northern Goshawk, a first for him. We found a small herd of Muley doe's, then up the road we found the bachelors.
On our way over to the aleged shorty area, we found a Snowy that has been on the circuit for the last couple of weeks, but it was as skittish as ever, so no images. We were temporarily side tracked with a couple of hundred Redpolls, they turned out to be too shy for photo's as well. We were starting to think that the cold weather was working against us. We arrived in the vicinity of the rumoured owl, and lo and behold we found him on a fencepost 100 yards off the road. We watched it as it flew and grabbed up some lunch, but it was too shy as well. Here is a long distance poor image.
With our main objective successfully bagged, we headed the long way home. We got to try our Apache skills on some Horned Larks.
Our next targets were some Snow Buntings in the area.
We were feeling pretty good, we had great light, some owls and another first for Jamie. We also learned a little something, we found our little Snowy buddy from a couple hours earlier in the day, sitting right where we left him. We then spotted an anomaly that I have never seen before, a couple of hundred buntings in a tree. This is just a small group of them.
Next we found Jamie's first ever Prairie Falcon, it wasn't where I have seen them before, but we will take it. I wanted to grab a shot of this beautiful horse, one of the units that fooled me a couple of weeks ago. It has four white stockings and a unique coloured mane.
Just as we found our second Snowy of the day, Jamie heard this little lady tapping on a green tree.
We haven't seen too many Snowy's in a tree so we thought we better grab a shot of this.
To wrap up the day we found Santa's reindeer, they were relaxing with a couple of lady friends after a full night of hauling a sleigh around the world:)   Overall Santa treated us pretty well today!

Merry Christmas to all,

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