Saturday, February 25, 2017

Lifer! Long-eared Owl

Long-eared owl at Lake Arrowhead SP
I have been offline for awhile. A car accident, a new grandbaby and then getting sick kept me barely keeping up with work--and not too well, at that.

But I wanted to catch up with some good birding. As you know, I usually lead the bird walk at Lake Arrowhead State Park on the second Saturday of each month. February 11 was a very good day--I got a lifer! But not during the bird walk.

After the bird walk, several of us stuck around to work on the butterfly garden near the ranger station  at the entrance to the part. We noticed some owl pellets under a live oak tree adjacent to the garden, but we didn't see an owl in the tree at that spot. A little later, Debra McKee found a long-eared owl on the other side of the tree. My photo is to the left. I took it with my cell phone, so it isn't the greatest, although it is clear enough to identify. This was a life bird for me, so I was excited. In fact, it was a life bird for most of us who saw it that day. It is continuing to draw many visitors to the park. As many as 5 owls have been seen at one time. If you decide to go to the park to look for it, please be quiet and as unobtrusive as possible to keep the birds from being stressed.

Like I said, overall, it was a very good day for the bird walk. Here are the other birds we saw the same day:

Great egret
Great blue heron
Ring-billed gull
Double-crested cormorant
Canada goose
White pelican
American coot
Northern pintail
Pied-billed grebe
Wilson's snipe
Least sandpiper
Greater yellowlegs
Black vulture
Northern harrier
Long-eared owl
Eurasian collared dove
Mourning dove
Rock pigeon
Ladder-backed woodpecker
Yellow-shafted flicker
Northern cardinal
Northern mockingbird
Eastern phoebe
Ruby-crowned kinglet
Bewick's wren
Meadowlark species
Savannah sparrow
Song sparrow
House finch
Red-wingred blackbird
Great-tailed grackle
Brown-headed cowbird
European starling

The next bird walk is scheduled for March 11, at 8:00 AM.

Good birding!

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