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February 18, 2013 [LINK / comment]
Short-eared Owls in Swoope!
There have been quite a few reports of Short-eared Owls in the Swoope area recently, and I finally managed to get out there just after 5:00 this afternoon to take a look. The place in question is at the intersection of Livick Road and Cattleman's Road, rolling open pasture land with a few scattered trees here and there. Two birders who had driven all the way from Front Royal were already there when I arrived, and three others from nearer places arrived soon thereafter.
Before long, we saw a few Northern Harriers swooping (!) low across the pastures, including one or two male "gray ghosts." They didn't come very close, however, and there wasn't much else to see as the sun dipped behind the mountains to the west. It was getting pretty chilly, but I came prepared for the frigid vigil with polypropylene undergarments and wool socks. Finally, somebody spotted a Short-eared Owl in a field about 250 yards away, and a second one soon landed in the same area. So, we all got in our vehicles, drove a short distance, and I was able to get close enough (40-50 yards) for an adequate photo, making the effort all worthwhile. I probably could have gotten much better quality if the manual focus on my new camera wasn't so hard to adjust, and if the sun had not yet gone down.
That was about two miles from where I had seen several Short-eared Owls in February 2004. After a brief glance at my records, that may have been the last time I have seen that particular species, but further digging may be necessary to be sure.
Short-eared Owl, in a field next to Livick Road, in Swoope.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 19 Feb 2013, 12: 04 AM
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Hits on this page (single blog post) since July 2, 2007:
Culture & Travel
Science & Technology
This (or that) year's
January 1, 2013 ~ Happy New Year! / State of the diagrams, 2013
January 7, 2013 ~ Br-r-r! Winter field trip to Highland County
January 21, 2013 ~ Continuity: Obama begins his second term
January 28, 2013 ~ NatsFest 2013: NL East champs!
February 13, 2013 ~ But wait, there's more bird photos!
March 16, 2013 ~ Birding field trip in Waynesboro
March 30, 2013 ~ Day trip to "Waltons Mountain"
April 1, 2013 ~ Play ball! The 2013 season begins
May 31, 2013 ~ R.I.P. YuLee Larner (1923-2013)
June 8, 2013 ~ Nats come from behind, and WIN!
June 30, 2013 ~ Expedition to the top of Elliott's Knob
July 18, 2013 ~ A Midsummer's Day Dream *
July 20, 2013 ~ Various random day trips
July 26, 2013 ~
Nightmare on South Capitol Street: Harper, Zimmerman save Nationals from doom
August 24, 2013 ~ Nats keep bouncing back from total disasters
September 3, 2013 ~ Nats are barely clinging to life
September 30, 2013 ~ Baseball season comes to an end
September 30, 2013 ~ Fall bird migration reaches the peak
December 26, 2013 ~ Catching up with baseball
December 26, 2013 ~ 2013: Republicans keep defeating themselves
December 26, 2013 ~ Hawk watch: Up close & personal
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
- Wild birds (LAST)
- Science & Technology
- Latin America
- Culture & Travel
- Canaries ("Home birds")
- Baseball (FIRST)
Also see: My blog practices.
Blog errata (Nobody's perfect.)