Monday, 22 December 2014

Owl Island

This morning my wife and I visited my favourite birding spot near my hometown of Kingston, Amherst Island.  Amherst Island is a world renowned owl watching hot spot, and I check it at least once every winter.

We caught the 9:30am ferry over and saw our first Snowy Owl within minutes of arriving!

We spotted another one soon after, perched at the Martin Edwards Reserve (formerly the KFN property), sitting in the same tree as the bird we found here in June.  Could be the same individual!

After this we trekked into the 'Owl Woods', a really great spot full of pines and spruces where you can often find some of the smaller owls such as Northern Saw-whet Owl or Long-eared Owl.  We quickly found a Long-eared Owl perched in this pine and I managed to get a very quick shot before it flew off.

Long-eared Owl. Can you see his ears poking up through the branches?

We looked hard in the rest of Owl Woods but couldn't come up with any other owls here so we headed back to the road and made another lap around the island.  We saw several other raptors including some Rough-legged Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks and Northern Harriers as well as a couple more Snowy Owls.

Here is a light morph Rough-legged Hawk

Dark morph Rough-legged Hawk
This Snowy Owl was quite cooperative.
If you look closely there are actually 2 Snowy Owls in this shot, both on fence posts!
Amherst Island never disappoints! A great morning on the owl island!

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