I took a quick trip up to Massachusetts, USA to visit family and while I was there I managed to get in a day of birding…
My brother and I started our day at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, located along the northeast coast of Massachusetts. It was established in 1941 to provide feeding, resting and nesting habitat for migratory birds.
It is a wonderful place to go, with trails and boardwalks. There are many different habitats to attract a variety of birds. Unfortunately, it seems like every time I go there in the winter, it is raw cloudy. This time there was a biting wind whipping at our faces just for fun… there is a reason that I live in warmer weather now! I hate the COLD!!!
Anyway, we started off looking at the ocean, trying to see just what was out there and we did get a couple of birds swimming by…
I found a White-winged Scoter, I hadn’t seen one of those in a couple of years…
We quickly left the beach and drove to see if there were any birds at the ponds. We did see the American Black Duck, actually lots of them. Lots of Canada Geese too!
We had looked up online just what people had reported seeing at this location so we had an idea of what was around. The Snowy Owl was the bird that we were both really trying to find.
In and out of the truck, we kept checking out the ponds and fields. Honestly, I think it was too cold even for the birds because there really weren’t that many around.
Back in the truck for a long drive down the dirt road to the end of the island, on the way we pass lots of fields. Keeping our eyes peeled, me looking for the Owl and my brother watching out for the potholes!
All of the sudden I spot a white blob way off in the distance in the fields, can it be the Owl? We pull over and stop to try to get a better look. This is an area where you aren’t supposed to walk in the fields, so we have to us our binoculars and cameras to get any kind of close up.
This is the best photo that I managed to get that day of the Snowy Owl. They breed in Northern Alaska and Northern most Canada, during the winter they can be found throughout all of Canada and occasionally some of the Northern US states. We were lucky to see this one, since only a few are seen here during the winter.
I know it is a bad photo so below is a photo I took a few years back in the same area.
They are such a beautiful bird, though their white feathers make it hard to find them when they are in the snow!