The Burrowing Owl seen briefly yesterday in the tall weeds of the Nature Area in the north side of the park showed itself again this morning. Hats off to Mary Malec, long-time owl docent and raptor specialist, for being the first to spot this bird. It is very, very challenging to see. Its speckled light brown color blends in seamlessly with the dried vegetation where the bird perches. It sits perhaps 30 or 40 feet south of the paved perimeter trail, and makes just the slightest, almost invisible bump on the topography. I’m indebted to Phil Rowntree and James Kusz, both present at the site, for helping me spot the bird.
After getting the bird framed and focused, I left the camera running while I wandered down to the shore to see if other owls had come to the water’s edge, as they did last year. No luck. When I returned to the camera, the owl was gone, invisible. Checking the video at home, I could see that something coming on the path alarmed the bird, and it walked off the screen to the right. Since the camera was running unattended, there is no visual record of where the bird went.
I’ll certainly check back again tomorrow, and will post more photos and video here if the bird is visible. Meanwhile there is other bird news: Ruddy Ducks, Goldeneye, and Greater Scaup have arrived, Bufflehead are busy, and Surf Scoters are still hanging out on the north side. If I published all these images on the same day, subscribers would be swamped, so I’m rationing them, mostly one a day, even if this means that the post appears several days (or even a week) after the bird is seen.