I had to drive into town today for a meeting so I decided to go in early and stop off at Seaside Farm and the Homer Spit to see what birds were out and about.
At Seaside Farm there were lots of Northwestern Crows feeding on the ground and chasing each other. Fun to watch.
Also present were American Robins, Bohemian Waxwings, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, Pine Siskins, and Black-capped Chickadees. The day was sunny and warm.
After leaving Seaside Farms I headed to the Spit. There had been an earlier report of Snow Buntings at Green Timbers. I stopped to check out the Mallards and American Wigeons in Mud Bay first. As I was driving down to the parking lot at Green Timbers I said to myself “wouldn’t it be nice to see an owl”. I was thinking of a Short-eared Owl which are occasionally seen this late in the year. It was pretty quiet at Green Timbers, but decided to get out and see if any Snow Buntings might flush as I walked north of the parking lot. I didn’t get too far when I looked up and spotted a Snowy Owl on a dead snag. I could not believe my eyes. Snowy Owls are periodically seen in Homer, but I have not been fortunate enough to see one until today. This is a life bird for me and one I’ve been waiting to see for some time. I wanted to do a little dance at my good fortune. As Jack likes to say – Timing is Everything.
I sat, photographed, and watched the bird for 15-20 minutes. Others had seen the owl and were also enjoying the sight. A Black-billed Magpie wasn’t too happy with the owl, but only halfheartedly tried to chase it off. Then a Common Raven decided to give a more concerted effort of chasing off the owl. The owl did leave its perch, but only flew to the ground.
I had to rush off to check on a winter flock of Rock Sandpipers at the Homer Boat Harbor and then to meet a friend for coffee (prearranged) before my meeting.