With essentially a full moon and just a slight breeze, this was a
delightful morning for owling. While there weren't a lot of
individuals, there was a nice collection of species.
2:38am Short-eared Owl (1). Gage Road, Addison. This bird flew over to
see me shortly after I arrived and was out of the car. It was making
the characteristic scratchy bark call as it approached, as it flew
around me, and then as it departed until I could hear it no more.
3:11am Northern Saw-whet Owl (2). Brilyea Access, Addison, near head
of western trail. Both birds were giving wail calls. One of the birds
called intermittently for the 16 minutes I was there, giving three
versions of the wail call, one being a wavering-wail call.
3:42am Great Horned Owl (1). Arnold Bay Road (not Adams Ferry Road),
Ferrisburgh; in forested section. Characteristic hoot song.
4:42am Eastern Screech Owl (1). Farrell Access, Addison. Tremolo from
woods on other side of Dead Creek waters.
5:06am Barred Owl (1). Drake Road, Weybridge. Hooaww call.
At Brilyea Access, the waters of Dead Creek adjacent to the first and
second pullout were jam-packed with noisy Snow Geese. Under the
brilliant moon they were much brighter than ghostly images ... and
easily counted. They were neither upset by my car or me, though they
all seemed to want to tell me something at the same time.
I counted them by 50s/100s twice, once as I passed southward and then
again on my return. Once back home, I compared the area covered by the
birds with aerial photos I took a couple of years ago of a flock of 3300
which was at the pond that can be barely seen south of the viewing
area. I was able to count that flock by ones using the photos. I also
had a picture from the photo flight of that flock flying over Dead Creek
where the birds were this morning. These techniques yielded a range of
2800 to 3400 birds, which averaged gives 3100 geese.