Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Smiling Buddha! - 18 Dec 2012
I arrived just after 9 am and scanned the buildings along South River Road east of Jefferson Rd. No evidence of a Snowy Owl, so I drove to the DNR office to walk the woods to the point. Perhaps the owl might be roosting on the rocks in the channel, as one did last year. I found only a couple of American Tree Sparrows. The lake itself held small rafts of Common Goldeneye, Bufflehead and Mute Swans, but too far out to digiscope.
As I returned toward the car, I noticed an unusually large, white blob in a spruce tree across the channel next to the houses and marinas near a Marathon fueling station. Sure enough, I put the scope on the blob and immediately recognized a Snowy Owl! Now the challenge was going to be how to find the bird on the other side of the channel.
I pulled into the driveway of a private residence next door to the house where the owl was roosting and knocked on the door. No answer. The house 2 doors from the owl had a car in the driveway, so I knocked on the door and requested permission to photograph the owl from their driveway. They were mildly curious to see the owl in the tree, but not overly excited. I was a bit shocked, but they'd seen it in the area the past couple of years, so it wasn't a big deal.