Hi VT Birders:
8:10 a.m., no rain, a glimmer of hope.....
Four faithful parasitic birders (Mae & Bill Mayville, Cathy Kretz and myself), tested driving conditions before heading to Waterbury Center in hopes of seeing the NHOW...
...and WOW! We had quite the show! Perched on the dead tree described in previous posts by others, perhaps midpoint between Blue Heron and Gregg Hill roads, was our glorious prize. As we drove along route 100 checking tree tops, we were tipped off to its presence by an observant birder from Sheffield, England standing along the road(No,.......he was visiting folks in N.H.) It wasn’t long before another car came along, this one with a mutualistic birder (Larry from N.J.) who happened to spot the bird before noticing us. Easy birding!
The owl spent its time perched on trees, swooping down across the open field, and chasing a blue jay into spruces across the road. The field I am referring to has a variety of items in it and along the perimeter, just inside the woods. One distinct item is a greenhouse consisting of just a frame and windows. You can’t miss it!
As others have stated, the road is not safe to stop along, but there is an area at the end of Gregg Hill road where you can pull off and park. The walk to the owl was quick, shoulders on road ample for cars to pass us safely. Still, BE CAREFUL walking and mindful while standing, eyeing the prize. As we headed back to our cars, a fast moving tanker passed us safely; we then heard Larry yell back to us, informing us that the hawk-owl had flown across the road just a few feet above the truck, nearly being struck.
I’m glad the trees it was heading towards were so tall and hope many more birders get to enjoy this beauty!