Our mild January weather is kaput. February began with a seriously rainy day but now it’s gone cold and there’s snow in the forecast. A good time to look back on my favourite bird pictures. I’ll start with everybody’s favourite — owls.
After yet another fruitless search for a Glaucous Gull, this time at Esquimalt Lagoon, I stop at Swan Lake in hopes of spotting an owl. I’d like to get something for day, other than chilblains. On the subject of Glaucous Gulls — for some reason this species continues to elude me. I see reports of sightings from the location I’ve just checked (both before and after) but I keep missing out. I think it’s one of those ‘if you see a lineup at the whatever with me in it, you’d be smart to pick another line‘ kind of things. Never mind, I’ll keep trying.
Back to owls. I get lucky. I know where Barred Owls hang out sometimes and sure enough, there’s a bird waiting for me – a lovely, dozing owl in clear view. So there, Glaucous Gull!
Dozens of people pass by on a path not twenty feet away, completely unaware that this gem is so close. Like many birders, I prefer not to point out owls to passersby. It’s not selfishness. More activity, more photographers, more everything, will disturb the resting bird and may drive it away. Owls fascinate us but they do need their downtime. Their survival depends on it. This one gives me a few good photos. Then it closes its eyes and goes to sleep. Thank you, Barred Owl.