I first read the post Tuesday late morning. It was a short message with an attached Flickr URL if you wanted to view the bird. A Long-eared Owl was spotted at the park on Monday by 2 people I’ve heard of before but never meet. I did find out that one of the gentlemen is a naturalist in the area so you have to take this as a legitimate sighting.What they left off from their post is the location of the bird in the park, which turns out to be about 158 acres. This is a understood in the birding community that we don’t want to scare off a bird like this with too many people bothering it.
I started to get that twitch, which is immediately followed by pains of anxiety and nervous feet. I GOTTA’ GO! So I waited till I got off work, went home to grab my gear and let the dog out. Hisey Park is not very far away for me, about 25 to 30 minutes so I was there in no time. Not knowing where to look I did the best I could with the remaining sunlight. I dipped on the bird. Later that evening I got a hot tip on the location from some very reliable birders.
So the wheels have been turning for most of the day on how to take care of business and still make it up to Hisey Park before it turns darker than it already is. It’s been raining for most of the day and it was my hope that the owl was going to stick close to it’s roost. I arrived at 4 pm and went directly to the spot.
I crept closer and as quietly as I could on the wet ground and started to look into the inside of the tree. There he was about 8 feet off the ground just looking at me like I was a nobody.
I had been in contact with Eddie Ehrman, a local birder who’s doing a big year and needed this owl for the list. He showed up with his son and we stayed for about 20 minutes longer all the while taking more pictures. I took 40 pictures and only a handful were worthy of the blog.
Another great day, or should I say late afternoon of birding. And another lifer.