Monthly Archives: December 2017

Snowy Owls

If you’re like me, I tend to keep my ears open on social media and other birding outlets for anything unusual. This year is no exception as it’s turning into a eruption year for Snowy Owls. For the most part the Owls are being seen along Lake Erie, with a few exceptions. Late last week a Snowy was photographed roosting along the Great Miami River right next to the University of Dayton. The next day myself and others scoured the area with no luck in relocating the Snowy. This bird was the furthest south any Snowy had traveled so far this season. That was until Saturday.

Located on top of a parking lot light at the local Dave and Busters was a Snowy Owl. Now you would think that the female King Eider (which is a lot rarer than a Snowy) would attract more attention since the Eider is still showing down on the river, but you’d be mistaken. There’s something about a Snowy Owl that makes photographers and birders alike start to salivate. Myself, I love the bird and I’ll chase one if it’s relatively close, however I’ll observe the bird and move along. I really don’t want to stress the bird more than it’s already.

So Sunday afternoon I was off to a really busy part of town where there are more shopping malls and strip malls and free standing box stores than you could shake a stick at. Springdale Ohio, in the area where 2 major interstates come together, I-75 and I-275.

Setting my scope up high above the street below, I was able to look across the street and see down on the Costco store roof. And perched 380 yards away (I calculated the distance on Google Earth) on top of a air conditioning compressor was the Snowy.



Notes From The Field/ New Lifer

Yesterday evening while my wife and I were visiting a local Cincinnati brewery with another couple, my Belgian Quad consumption was interrupted by my birding associate Jon with a text.

Next is how our conversation went.

Jon: Female King Eider found at Crooked Run today by Don Morse

Les: Holy Cow.   You chasing it?

Jon: I would love to but not unless Samantha (wife) changes her mind. I’d like to be out there at dawn.       We’ll see.      Check the Cincinnati birders Facebook page- there’s photos.

Les: Saw the picture. This is worth chasing

Jon:  Seems legit

Les: Let me know. I’m willing to run after it

Jon: I’m working on it…probably meet you out there early if I can get the necessary approval here.             I’d bring Phoebe (child) as part of my negotiations.

Les: Kathy (my wife) said go, so I’m leaving early and try to be there by dawn.

So as you can see this is how our conversation went last evening. And yes Jon, Phoebe and myself were able to tick off King Eider as another lifer. This is the 2nd sighting of a King Eider in Ohio this year. Just a few weeks ago another one was sighted on Lake Erie, so seeing this one on the Ohio River is very exciting for all area birders.

The weather conditions on the river were very foggy, and getting sharp clear photos this morning was next to impossible. Granted I could have waited around for a few more hours, however I have stuff to get done today.

Life Bird # 448