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Snowy Owl Search: Part II

Nickerson Beach, NY

semi-overcast 40 °F

After singing my last “Christmas choir gig” of the season this morning, I was ready to be in the field again and today I set my hopes on that Snowy Owl that I missed at Nickerson Beach last week. It was still seen earlier this morning, and thanks to the Manhattan Bird Alert, I had an exact location for the bird, so my hopes were high!

The 1 subway, Long Island Railroad, and a quick uber ride took me to Nickerson Beach where I was immediately reminded of its close proximity to JFK Airport. Metal bird!

After a bit of bushwhacking, I made it to the beach! It was a lovely afternoon.

Wait what?

SNOWY OWL! Yay! I have seen this bird a number of times before, but I will never, ever tire of doing so.

Immediately, she stretched her wings for me (which would prove to be the most movement I would see from her all day, hah!).

This is most likely an immature female due to the heavy black barring, which can be present but usually is lighter on young males.

At one point a male NORTHERN HARRIER quickly glided over the dunes, attracting the owl’s attention.

It scared up a few MOURNING DOVES, possible harrier prey items.

The owl was beautiful in front of the dunes.

And soon, “golden hour” set in which just simply enhanced the beauty of this enchanting bird.

The owl was tired out from posing for the (respectful) crowd of photographers and birders all afternoon. Thankfully, I caught it at just the perfect moment!

Then, I met two birders named Lawrence and Maia who very generously agreed to take me back to the train station. Thanks so much, you two! On the way, we were mesmerized by the awe-inspiring Long Island sunset:

It was a perfectly amazing afternoon of birding! Bird-of-the-day to the Snowy Owl, obviously, with runner-up to the Northern Harrier. Stay tuned, tomorrow I may go birding again, and then on wednesday I fly to SOUTH AMERICA for Christmas break!

Good birding,
World Life List: 978 Species

Posted by skwclar 18:20 Archived in USA

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Oh you lucky dog! What a beautiful bird and what great light!
Now go enjoy South America you lucky, lucky dog!

by Poo

So beautiful, Henry. Thanks for sharing! I love owls!

by Kris G.

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