Saturday, March 07, 2009

Long-eared Owls at the Great Swamp


Yowzers was it warm today! T-shirt weather! Beth and I took a ride to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge this evening. The place was hopping with birds and birders. There have been some rather well-known Long-eared Owls roosting there. They're well-known thanks to a birder posting exact directions to our NJ mailing list. Oops! Well, we went and checked them out and they were indeed very accommodating. This was Beth's first Long-eared Owl sighting! Keep reading below for other thrills.

We also saw an adult Red-headed Woodpecker that's been hanging around there all winter. It was too distant to photograph, but it was a beauty. Wood Ducks were conspicuous with groups flying over and calling repeatedly. Ring-necked Ducks were also bobbing and diving on several areas of open water. I can't stress how awesome the weather was.

We finished the day at dusk looking for Woodcocks displaying. We heard quite a few "peenting" and got looks at one repeatedly doing its flight display. I love that. It's always a challenge to find them in flight, but we were able to spot one individual a few different times. A sure sign of spring are the woodcocks displaying.

8 comments:

Mike said...

Great shots, Patrick. I wonder when woodcocks make it to Rochester...

Christopher said...

Long-eared Owls AND Red-headed Woodpecker - wow what a banner day!!!

Vickie said...

What a nice outing. Beautiful photos.

Mel said...

Wow, sounds like a great day, and cool sightings too.
Thanks for the id on my last bird of the pelagic post, you id a lifer for me :)

John said...

That owl has probably been watching tons of birders walk past since sometime in November.

Erica Mueller said...

Nice shots of the owls, we did get to see them before it got too dark! Thanks for the nice view of the red-headed woodpecker. I really need a scope. It was good to see you and to meet your wife.

corey said...

Nice owls!

And it was sooo warm yesterday. I actually had my first Morning Cloak of the year, as well as RWBBs conk-a-ree-ing!

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh! LEOW are so CUTE!
We had one at RAPTOR recently. Head trauma with resultant vision problems. But we fixed him up and let him go. (Only the fifth LEOW that has come in to our center in the past 30 years!)