12/21/2009

Struck out in the owl department

Not be deterred by the prediction of a massive winter storm I headed out early Saturday morning to see if I could track down any owls. I headed up to the Pole farm and encountered snow on the way which was rather surprising. By the time I got to the Pole farm is was snowing and blowing pretty heavily. I started by looking for Short eared owls (SEO) but if there were any, they were tightly tucked in and not braving the inclement weather. I initially thought that this might be too early for SEO but I saw two SEOs at this location last year in early January.  Something that I did not realize is that SEO migration is irruptive in nature, so this could very well be a slow year for them.

Anyway, from there I swung by a nice little pond that has several hundred Canada geese and a single snow goose tucked in with the crowds. With snow in my ear and a chilled nose I headed over to my Long eared owl roosting spot to see if I could track them down. Sadly I found no owls, nor did I find any evidence of owls. I searched the evergreens for Saw whet but struck out in this department too.


I decided the snow wasn’t great for birding so I jumped back in my heated car and made for home. The snow cleared out pretty quickly heading North and I decided to stop by a nice field close to home. The field has a small cedar grove on the edge of it and I found pellets there last year in March. After doing my best CSI imitation I struck out again. On the plus side I did manage to scare up a few Winter wrens which were great.

One thing about owling is that persistence generally pays off. The more places you look, the luckier you become – generally. I had another hour to kill so I decided to swing by Round valley reservoir. Last winter I heard some crows harassing something in a pretty large evergreen stand and I decided to check it out. Again, I found nothing although the location is EXCELLENT for owls. Even though I struck out I will definitely go back to this evergreen stand to check it out later in the winter. How was your weekend? Any owls?

5 comments:

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Wow,you are persistant and that is a good thing. I hardly ever see owls and only in flight when too dark to capture a good photograph. I need to let my neighbors know that I need a ring up if they know they have owls near by. Best of luck next journey out~

Owlman said...

Hi Mary,

Thanks for popping in! Persistence combined with a massive amount of luck is key when looking for owls. I'm hoping that my luck will change during the winter months.....;-)

robin1 said...

Ran into your blog researching today to see if anyone else had been to the Pole Farm and see any owls lately. Guess not, based on your post yesterday. I live about 15 minutes away so I plan to go check back there on Monday when we return from holidays with family. I would love to see the owls flying over the snow if there's still snow left!

Robin

Anonymous said...

It was very interesting for me to read the post. Thank author for it. I like such topics and anything connected to them. I would like to read a bit more soon.

Owlman said...

Hi Robin1,

Nope no Short eared owls yet. I haven't seen anything reported on NJ birder either.

Than Anon, much appreciated.