For at least two years now, I have been hoping to see a Snowy Owl up close. The first time that my friend Wendy and I saw one, it was a very distant view into the field on Plum Island. I have made several trips out to Hampton to try and find this owl. This time, however, was different. Someone spotted the bird in Seabrook and announced it on our google group in December, and so I hopped in my car the next day and made the one hour drive once again to find the bird.
Scanning the dunes at Hampton Beach State Park, it was nowhere to be seen. They said it was on a telephone pole. I checked my e-mail app again to be sure, and a birder had just posted: the post said something like, “the snowy owl is sitting on a telephone pole on the other side of the bridge – on the Seabrook side”. Racing over the bridge, I saw the Snowy Owl Paparazzi. Immediately, I pulled into the first open parking spot, and parallel parked the car in front of all the other birders and photographers. I rolled down my window, turned off the ignition, and low and behold … there it was on top of the telephone pole … the Snowy Owl!
This Snowy Owl stopped traffic on Route 1, the busiest route from Salisbury, Mass to the New Hampshire Seacoast. Birders and Non-birders alike stopped to ask us what we were looking at as they drove by. Who knows, this may have been their first brush with a gorgeous creature of nature. This bird was amazing in that nothing seemed to bother it. I must have stayed there for at least two hours to get these photos, and it remained calm and centered the entire time. This owl seemed unperturbed at even the rudest, loudest drivers on the road beneath it. I strive to be more like this owl, wise and serene amidst the chaos.
Here, it was looking down at a woman walking underneath the telephone pole. I thought for sure the woman would scare the bird off, but she didn’t.
Here, the owl is scratching itself while the sun falls lower on the horizon. The light is perfect for photography.
According to David Allen Sibley, this is most likely a first year female. A male snowy would be all white. This bird nests far up in the Arctic on the tundra and is only seen in New England during the winter.
Stretching its wings.
In the second hour, it began to get dark and the clouds covered the sun.
This shot makes me want to run my hands all over this bird’s feathers and pet it, although I would not recommend it because of those powerful talons.
Mother Nature is divine. Let us all take action to protect wildlife and the forest and habitat it needs to survive. My hope is that everyone learns to love nature as much as I do.
Thank you for reading and following my blog!