It seems it has been at least a month that I have been WAITING for the seasons to change the scenery from late summer birds to early winter birds. And with the weather in the 70 degree range this past week, I don’t think it is going to happen quite yet.
So Mike and I headed out last Saturday morning to check a few spots before the rain hit. After the rain last week we were hoping that the local shorebird spot might be have some birds. As my last post showed not only was it dried up, but plowed under. So we headed to the local ponds hoping some waterfowl had moved in. No waterfowl exept for a large number of Canada Geese. And the wind had now moved to the east at 15mph and a light rain was starting to fall. Enough of that. We discussed plans for the next few weekends, weather cooperating, and I headed home early.
The weather had improved by mid-afternoon and I had cabin fever, so I headed to the local park. Really not expecting anything different while we WAIT for the seasons to change. But a good walk in fall weather is always good.
And as expected there really wasn’t much happening outside the local species and large numbers of American Robins, Northern Flickers, and Yellow-rumped Warblers. And I saw a Lincoln’s Sparrow that had more markings on the breast than I have seen before. So that was fun trying to figure out. Not even one raptor flying.
But while walking through the park’s small forested area I saw a raptor fly from high up in one tree down and then back up to sit on a high branch. First thought since it was daytime was a hawk but something told me it was an owl. And sure enough it was a totally unexpected Barred Owl.
Having seen them in daylight off and on over the years in Illinois I knew that I had to follow it to exactly were it landed. Or it would blend in so well I would never find it in the trees. And I couldn’t move. Loosing the angle of sight and the same thing would happen.
So I stood in the same spot and watched the owl watching me.
Of course the line of sight did not give me a clear photo line. And past experience told me that it would flush if I tried to move towards it. So I moved 2 feet left, no better view. Then 2 feet right. Still no good. And the path was too narrow to go much further left or right.
So I gazed at the owl for many minutes and then decided to try to get a better line of sight by moving forward. And as expected after about 3 steps it flushed, not to be seen again.
But anytime I see an owl in the daytime it’s a treat.