Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12: Not finding the owl (again)

Yesterday at 7:40 a.m. a friend emailed that there was a snowy owl on the Rockland Breakwater. I got the message at 8:30, was down there by 9:00. Of course by then it had flown (probably away from the people walking on the breakwater). But from the path I could hear a bunch of crows making a racket--the kind of racket they make when mobbing an owl. I could see them going after something on the roof of one of the buildings at the Samoset Resort, which abuts the Breakwater Park. But the roof itself was not visible from any angle on the ground, alas. And even more unfortunate, I had to be back in Camden by 9:30, so I couldn't wait around for the owl to get fed up with the crows and move on to a hopefully more visible perch. So I left frustrated in my owl quest. (My friend later confirmed that the owl had indeed flown from the breakwater to the building the crows had pegged.)

This is not the first time I've missed a snowy owl. For several winters during my childhood a snowy owl would perch on the roof of the historic Finnish church in South Thomaston; my dad and I drove down there several times to see it without success. Unlike many birders I know, I'm not a "bird magnet." Cool birds don't come easy to me.

My husband and I went back early this afternoon and walked all around the Samoset grounds despite the icy blasts of wind coming straight off the water. Lots of Canada geese, a few mergansers, but no snowy owl. I guess I'll just have to take comfort in knowing it was there yesterday, even if I couldn't see it. (As small consolation, I did see a pileated woodpecker fly across the road as I was driving back to Camden.)

Owl not seen, again.
Yet I could feel its presence
in that Arctic wind.

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