Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snowy Owl in Florida!

Bill and I have been reading the many reports of a real snowbird in Florida. A Snowy Owl is wintering on Little Talbot Island at the State Park. It's only the third-ever sighting of a Snowy Owl confirmed in Florida. According to the local paper, Snowy Owls fly farther south when their population spikes or their food source  (Lemmings) becomes scarce. An invasion of Snowy Owls has been reported this winter across the Midwest, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states. We decided this was our chance and headed out early this morning.

We arrived at the park around 10:30 AM - high tide. It was challenging walking along the beach to where the owl was snuggled in the dunes. It was easy to find the correct location as there was a crowd of birders - most with fancy cameras and lenses that made my camera look like an Instamatic.

Ms. Snowy mostly kept her back to her admirers, but every few minutes turned her head around to make sure everyone was still looking. As soon as she did, you could hear the cameras clicking away. She didn't open her eyes while we were there so I don't have any cool pictures showing her great yellow eyes. Darn.

She is beautiful. I was beyond excited.

I took a short break to watch this cute Sanderling play at the water's edge.

One last picture before we headed further north to look for some other rarities that have been seen in the area - a Harlequin Duck, Black (American) Scoter, Purple Sandpiper and Snow Bunting. We found all but the Snow Bunting.

I will post more pictures after I get a good nights rest.

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