Dreams of boreal species.....
Dashed! Spending a few days in far northern Wisconsin to eat turkey and visit with in-laws, I had visions of Boreal Chickadees, Grey Jays, Redpolls, Crossbills, Bohemian Waxwings and any northern owls dancing in my head. What did I find? Let's see. A bunch of Black-Capped Chickadees and four Mourning Doves. That's it! I seem to have better luck staying right where I am, like I did before we left for the great white north.
Early this week, reports were trickling in about a Snowy Owl being seen in the industrial park in far north LaCrosse. It must be that "north" thing at work, eh? On Tuesday after work, I made the trek, circling several times. No luck. Wednesday morning, I called one of the businesses to see if the bird had been spotted yet. Nope, she had not. Circled the area numerous times slowly anyway. No luck. Ran my errand, came back, circled again several times. Ah well, I thought.
Once home, I began to pack, but within a half hour, my phone was ringing. Dan Jackson, who has in the past alerted me to the presence of cool birds in the area, was on the phone. Looking right at her. Where I'd just been! I was in the car right away.
Sure enough, there she sat. I slowly approached, but she barely opened her eyes. A few other birders came and left. A fellow from the diesel shop where she was sitting offered to open the gates for me to approach closer, but I declined. I didn't want to disturb her, and there might be other birders on their way.
I watched in the gathering storm that would vex our travels north later that night. It is still a source of amazement to me that something so out of its element can provide such beauty. I hope this beauty survives the coming winter and can return to her breeding grounds near the Arctic Circle, perhaps returning again.
On another note, Clare of The House and Other Arctic Musings (appropriately enough!) is the host for I and the Bird #11, "Where in the World?"