Friday, November 21, 2008

Snow, Birds and Freezing Temps

Lapland Longspur (left) with Snow Buntings on 11/20/08 at the CM State Park.
Photo courtesy of Bob Fogg.

On the plane from Florida to Atlantic City there was talk of snow and freezing temps. I personally love snow and was accustomed to not seeing the bare ground for months on end when I lived in Maine so, it has been a true delight that the past two mornings have brought snow showers. After a mild fall, winter has indeed arrived.

On the bird front, owls have been a topic of discussion lately and sightings of Barn Owl, Short-eared Owl and numerous Long-Eared Owls have occurred since Thursday on Cape Island. For the hearty (and warmly dressed) I recommend choosing a spot near the dunes at dusk to sit and wait for owls that are lifting off and heading across the open water. Patience is the key here as it is usually when the light has faded and it is almost too dark to see that their shadowy silhouettes grace the skies.

A Cackling Goose and Tundra Swan have been seen on Lily Lake over the past few days and this morning the Tundra Swan could still be found but I was unable to re-locate the goose. Large groups of Snow Geese are on the move and a smaller, possible Ross', was seen flying over the point.

Last evening after work, in the last few minutes of daylight, I met Bob and Karl in the State Park just in time to see a Lapland Longspur (pictured above) who was hanging out with a group of 8 Snow Buntings. A report came in that this bird was again seen this morning between the first and second dune crossings.

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