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Snowy Owl trip info

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  • winelver2000
    Greetings, I was one of the people that went out on the boat today to see the Snowy Owl. It was a great trip!! The California Sunset is a large and
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 4, 2007
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      I was one of the people that went out on the boat today to see the Snowy
      Owl. It was a great trip!! The California Sunset is a large and
      comfortable boat with 2 decks and a large galley/inside area. It is a
      'river' boat with a shallow draft. We left at 9 am and returned about 4
      1/2 hrs later. The boat is slow but that gave us the opportunity to
      look at some of the thousands of waterfowl and other birds in the trip
      out to Grizzly Bay. I have only been to Solano County one other time
      which was last year when I went to see the Snowy Owl that was there
      (unsuccessfully). I had no idea so many waterfowl wintered there. We
      saw tons of pintails, shovelers, green-winged teal, gadwalls and
      goldeneyes to name a few. Then there were the tundra swans. Before
      today, I had seen a grand total of 2 tundra swans in my life. You can
      imagine my excitement then at seeing first a group of about 200 swans
      then another of about 500!! It seemed like they went on forever. There
      were also many many harriers, redtails and kites plus other birds.
      Anyone who has been out on ocean trips will appreciate how amazing my
      next statement is. We were able to set up our scopes on the top deck
      and then go down below without having to worry about them falling over
      while we were gone!!! Whooiiee!!This was the first boat trip I've ever
      been on where people were allowed to bring scopes.

      When we got to the Snowy Owl location, we had great views of the bird
      which was perched on a piling. I'm not a good judge of distance so I
      won't hazard a guess as to how many feet away we were but we could
      easily see the bird's face with binoculars. I don't know how close
      people were getting with the land approach but we all thought we got
      great looks of the bird. The boat was in motion making photography a bit
      more challenging than on land but Wes Fritz and Daryl Coldren got some
      great digiscope photos, some of which will be sent to Joe Morlan for
      posting I believe. Wes even got some nice video with his camera that we
      were able to watch on Daryl's laptop on the trip back. I wish we could
      have stayed a bit longer but there was concern about staying too long
      and frightening the bird. It didn't appear to be bothered by our
      presence while we were there. We didn't see any other boats watching

      Overall, I would have to say the bugs from Wed's trip have been worked
      out. We went on a higher tide than the day before and Capt Dan brought a
      navigator that knew the area where the bird was very well so we were
      able to get close enough for an excellent look. The Capt was very
      enthusiastic and it was a pleasure to talk to him. The boat was very
      comfortable and you can bring a scope!

      Many thanks go to Wes Fritz from Santa Barbara for setting up the trip.
      He and his group of birders started driving at 1 AM to get here to go
      out on the boat. What dedication! It was a great day!

      Dea Freid
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