County Bird #153 — Snowy Owl

As we all know in birding, sometimes you just have to show up.  This morning is a case in point: I had a dermatology appointment (nothing like getting your ear frozen to start the day) and afterwards, decided to do my normal loop up by the nearby airport to check for owls or snow buntings.

I pulled into a favorite spot of ours near the Eye Center where we’ve seen Northern Shrikes and stopped the truck, noting a crow sweeping low over what looked like a grayish Walmart bag in the middle of the field.  Sure enough, it was a young Snowy Owl about 100 yards away looking at me.  I rolled down the truck window, watched it for a bit with binoculars, and fired off a bunch of shots with the Canon SX50.  I called my friends at North Branch Nature Center and emailed a couple of others as I watched for about ten minutes.  I decided to leave so as to not draw attention from the many patients coming and going from the medical offices.

A young Snowy Owl a long ways from home in a field in Berlin, VT.

A young Snowy Owl a long ways from home in a field in Berlin, VT.

After getting some coffee I swung back to see if my friends had seen it and sure enough, they were there with big smiles.  The bird had moved into some taller grass and like me, they got it with a harassing crow’s help.

I can stop checking every clump of snow, every plastic bag, every abnormal lump in a field.  With only three days left in Vermont before heading out, it’s great to end of a nice note — and to give some of my birding buddies a Christmas gift – a look at a Snowy.  And I can write most of the mileage off as a medical expense.

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3 Responses to County Bird #153 — Snowy Owl

  1. Judith says:

    I’m so happy you got to count the snowy in your county big year. loved the pic. have just gotten the Canon sx 50 to go along with my heavy DSLR as a back up for birding. still looking for the snowy on Cape.

  2. You’ll love the SX50 — I don’t use my big camera at all anymore. Lillian Stokes wrote a great advice piece a while back. Google this: Lillian’s Tips for Using Canon SX 50 HS for Bird Photography
    If you can’t locate, I’ll email it to you. Dick

    • Judith says:

      I read lillian’s review which is one reason I got it; one of our bird club members let me look at his camera at this month’s meeting. says he doesn’t use his big camera anymore either. sounds like a winner.

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