Saturday November 9, 2013 Great Gray Owl!

Seward, Alaska

Seward birder Deb Kurtz found a perfect place for an owl, but she didn't expect to find a GREAT GRAY OWL!

This afternoon, she and her husband decided to check out Troop Lake Trail, 12 miles north of Seward. About 10 minutes from the trailhead, there is a nice boardwalk curving across a meadow. As she was thinking "owl", she was startled to find a GREAT GRAY OWL sitting in a tree. The owl was actively hunting there, and though aware of them, allowed them to watch.

I went back with her just before dark around 5:00 pm, but the meadow was silent and still. A headlamp for edge-of-the-day owling is recommended. This area is known for bears, so if you come, bring bear spray.

Troop Lake Trail is located at Mile 12.1 on the east side of the Seward Highway just north of the Mile 12 Divide. Look for the highway marker and turnout that leads to a small parking lot. The trail begins on the Iditarod Historic Trail. It had some muddy areas with large columnar ice crystals pushing up that could be slippery, but generally the trail seemed easy to walk.

Congratulations, Deb!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

PS Please check the weather and road reports. Slick, icy roads and cold rain have made traveling treacherous in many stretches of highway. Be careful!

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