Tuesday, August 30, 2016 Owling in style

Seward, Alaska

Louann drove down from Anchorage this evening to try for the WESTERN SCREECH OWL. We met just after sunset at about 9:45 pm at the 40 mph sign, 1.4 miles from the first bridge on Exit Glacier Road aka Herman Leirer Road.

After standing around and listening for a bit, I mentioned we should have brought lawn chairs a la Hawk Watch. As luck would have it, she procured two lawn chairs from her camper van and we sat comfortably and listened. As the sky darkened, the temperature dropped, so she provided a repurposed Vanagon curtain to supplement my blanket and snuggled into a sleeping bag. Owling in style!

As the first stars emerged (Big Dipper’s handle), first one, then another BAT fluttered along the road. Suddenly, a larger bat cut across the road right beside us. No! Not a bat, but a small OWL! It happened so fast, but luckily we both saw it. It was totally silent, intent on its mission, probably hunting.

It could have been the WESTERN SCREECH OWL, or possibly a Northern Saw-whet Owl, impossible to know. But since we were in the Screech Owl’s known territory, it was very enticing to think we actually saw our target species. Regardless, it was very cool to see an owl!

More and more stars peppered the black sky, connecting the dots to form familiar constellations and the Milky Way. Points of light moved steadily across the sky marking satellites circling the globe and jets bound for Anchorage or more exotic destinations.

We sat and listened and marveled at the evolving nightscape until about 11 pm, without hearing any owls. Nonetheless, two bats and an owl fly-through with good company and front row seats were a few hours well spent.

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

No comments:

Post a Comment