Tuesday, December 12, 2017

I Finally Seen A Ghost.

The other day I had a half day at work and left to pick up some groceries while I was in town. During my return drive through town I spotted something on top of the snow bank along my lane. It looked like  some trash, maybe a few crumpled up news papers blowing in the wind. As I got closer, and to my amazement the "trash" turned out to be a snowy owl! I was stunned! I slowed to a stop and just looked at the bird that was now just feet from my car. It looked backed at me and opened it's mouth. It must have just plopped down on to the snowbank because it's wing were still partially out and laying in the snow, and not tucked in like they do when  bird is perched.

I looked in my mirror and noticed other traffic coming, so I hurried down the road and turned around in a church parking lot. I hoped I could drive back, park my vehicle and maybe snap a photo of this magnificent creature. As I pulled back onto the road and started back towards the bird I noticed it had just took off and was now flying right at my car in seemingly slow motion! I slowed down and the bird gracefully swooped right by my driver's side window and it pulled up to land on a street light. I could see it's fluffy, feather laden talons extend their grasp for it's landing. I sped by and turned around again. This time on my way back the owl was atop the telephone pole and was being harassed by some crows, who seemed to take half-harted pleasure in dive bombing the regal bird. The owl seemed oblivious to their actions. I watched it one last time as it sat on it's high perch while surveying all.

Photo by Missy Mandel/Cornell Lab of Ornithology website

Ever since I was a child I had wanted to see a snowy owl and I finally got to cross this one off my bucket list. I have now seen every species of owl that is known to inhabit my area. With most  of these encounters being very close range affairs.

I didn't get my photo, but a local, amateur photographer snapped some nice photos of one of the great birds near Lake Superior the week prior before we got our second wave of snow.

Photo by local photographer, Gary Jackson taken at Lake Superior

Photo by local photographer, Gary Jackson taken at Lake Superior

Apparently due to a large owl population boom in the arctic this year there is a large influx of snowy owls that are migrating into my region of the upper Great Lakes. This mass movement of owl is called an irruption.

I didn't get my photo, but I'll have a memory that will last a lifetime.

Here are a few links so some stories and info about this event and these magnificent creatures.

Project Snow Storm tracks snowy owls This is a great interactive site.

No comments:

Post a Comment