Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A snowy walk...

As I was out doing my afternoon chores:
feeding chickens, bringing them some hay for the floor,
gathering eggs, digging out the snowy barn door,
and feeding the cats,
I decided to take a little walk.

It's snowing this afternoon, rather beautifully with no wind.

Along the way I noticed this Long-eared Owl.  I'm not sure I've seen one in real life before.  I didn't have my camera at the moment, so I just enjoyed watching him.  While walking home, I spied another bird that I was unsure of.  I tried to snap a picture of it in my mind so I could try to find it in my field guide.  The many chickadees were flitting here and there at the feeder, all "dee-dee-dee-ing" back and forth to each other as I walked in the garage to fetch them some more sunflower seeds.  Then I had an idea to grab my camera and walk back out.  Maybe I could snap a picture of the birds so I might identify them.

Lucky me, the Long-eared Owl was still on his perch and he allowed me a couple snaps.  Isn't he a beauty?  I'll say!  The unknown bird became more evident when I looked at my photos and saw the hooked beak.  It looks like a Northern Shrike, but kind of not.  Then I saw the juvenile photo in my guide, and that nailed it.  He's a young one!  I've seen the Northern and Loggerhead Shrikes in the summer here, but I don't know that I've ever seen one in winter.  They are listed as "scarce" in the Peterson's Field Guide to North American Birds.  I'm so glad I took a little time to go walking despite the cold 6 degrees and snow.  It was well worth it.  Now I'll have a good cup of black coffee and a treat.  

Have you been seeing any unusual birds or animals around your place?  Do tell!


  1. You got really great photos and I love that one of that long eared owl. The shrike is very nice too. What a lovely day to go for a walk. Its clouding up here again for some more rain until Friday.
    I have only noticed lots of cattle egrets flying over. Lots of Canadian Geese too. They nest here in the winter. Well down by the river. Not many as in times past. I have been out lots now that the leaves are off the trees. I am glad you were able to get those cool pictures.

  2. Amazing owl. He is a beauty. So glad you saw and it and it sat for you to take a couple snaps.

  3. It's always a thrill to see and capture with a camera any sort of bird. The owl is beautiful. Glad you were able to identify the juvenile Northern Shrike and snap the chickadee in flight. This morning I drew back the living room curtains and there was a robin perched on the neighbour's fence very close to the window. I was so pleased to see it as the gale force winds we've been experiencing must be disturbing to small birds. We have had many trees crashing down as our city and surrounding countryside is well known for its wooded areas in contrast to the moors beyond. We are expecting snow by the end of the week so these little birds will be sheltering in the hedges and bushes around here I'm sure. Thankfully there are plenty of berries to feed on.

  4. Wow - what a great picture of the owl. I've only seen owls in the wild once or twice -- it's something I wish I could see everyday! And I love your sheepie snowy header!!!

  5. When you venture out on these wintry days you put yourself in a position to receive wonderful gifts like encounters with unusual birds. I hope the owl enjoyed meeting you, too!

  6. You are so lucky. A long eared owl and a shrike on the same day! I've seen a shrike here once. It was taking a bird from my feeder. I've never seen that type of owl. Thank you for going back and getting photos. Glad you enjoyed the Danish!

  7. What a treat Jody to go back and be able to take some photos.
    Just the normal busy robins in my neck of the woods, although I hear the tawny owl at night.
    We have a slight dusting of snow today and that always helps sightings of birds and wildlife. X

  8. I wish an owl would come my way!

  9. That owl is so cool! I've been enjoying watching a bunch of swans that gather in a little river which runs under the road on my way to my daughter's house. This little stream never freezes over, so they're taking advantage of it!

  10. A wonderful shot of your owl! How exciting for you. They are so beautiful.

  11. Thanks for stopping by, Susan! It's always fun to find a quiet owl who doesn't want to be found.

  12. What I've been looking at around our little farm is all the vegetation coming up! After that one bitterly cold snap we've had fairly warm temps, and the earth is confused about when it's time to grow. Bulbs are well up, but also the many weeds in the pasture. My chickens will be quite happy! Your birds are lovely. What a handsome owl!


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