Snowy Owl in Homer
- I saw a Snowy Owl last evening, 3 Sept., about 8:30 PM. I saw it along Ohlson Mountain Road above the town. I got a really good binocular view of it in flight at about 150 yards. It continued flying out of my sight. I was astounded to see this spectacular bird in the summer/fall. This is the only one I know of during this time of year, we have one about every 3-4 years in the mid-winter. I looked again this morning but didn't find it.
- A SNOWY OWL was admired by quite a crowd on the Homer Spit this afternoon. Perched near the spit trail at Green Timbers, the bird was seen by many locals, from at least noon. The owl was frequently mobbed, first by Northwestern Crows, then Black-billed Magpies, and finally two Common Ravens. By about 2:30 pm, the ravens succeeded to drive away the owl and chased it high up into the sky and west out to sea. When we lost sight of it, one of the ravens was returning to the spit, the other was still in close proximity to a presumably somewhat ticked-off owl. The Snow Owl was medium to heavily barred, which apparently doesn’t tell us much with regard to age or sex (some googling suggests that yes, males and older birds are lighter. But exceptions seem to occur not infrequently, sometime birds get darker with age, some females are pure white). Interestingly, this Snowy Owl was perched within a hundred meters of the perch on which Dave Sonneborn found a Snowy Owl in December 2011!
Adding to the cold, wintery scene was a single overflying SNOW BUNTING. Also along the spit were one AMERICAN PIPIT and about fifty GRAY-CROWNED ROSYFINCH. In Mud Bay, numerous Mallards and American Widgeons were accompanied by at least one male EURASIAN WIDGEON and one hybrid AMERICAN x EURASIAN WIDGEON. The local flock of ROCK SANDPIPER gathered in Mud Bay numbered about 150 birds. Rounding up a great afternoon were several flocks of BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS moving through the Kachemak Drive to Lee Street neighborhood, numbering maybe 300 in total, raiding the remaining Mountain Ash berries.