A Burrowing Owl has landed and perched this morning in the rocks at the east edge of the seasonal Burrowing Owl Sanctuary in the northeast corner of the park.
This owl chose the exact same spot that the “East Owl” selected in the winter of 2018-19. See “The Owls Came Back,” August 10 2019. That owl remained in this location throughout the season. A dried bush of California Poppies provides some cover overhead, and there are several cracks between the rocks where the owl can take quick refuge.
This spot cannot be seen from the perimeter trail. To see this owl, like the East Owl two years ago, one has to cross the fence at the southern entrance of the area and enter the Open Circle viewpoint. From there, a strong telephoto zoom north-north-west about 105 yards away will reveal the bird, if it’s still there. A slanted flat rock with an orange/yellow surface is useful as a field mark. The owl is invisible with the unaided human eye.
The owl appeared calm. It ignored a Ground Squirrel sniffing overhead behind it. It swiveled its head in a relaxed, low-stress manner. It looked in the direction of my camera for a few seconds and turned away without apparent alarm.
After photographing this owl, I checked the area on both sides of the northern path, particularly the Nature Area meadow, to see whether a second owl had arrived, but did not see one.