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Snowy Owls

There has been an irruption of Snowy Owls this winter. There have already been over 200 different sightings of Snowy Owls across the northern Lower 48 states. Snowy Owls rarely venture south of the Canadian border but every 6-7 years they come farther south. Some speculate it is due to food shortages in it’s normal Arctic range.

Snowy Owl Sightings
Snowy Owl – Recent Observations

While visiting friends in Portland recently, a Snowy Owl was discovered in a field in a small Mennonite retirement community. I rushed down there that afternoon to photograph the extremely cooperative bird. It was quite amusing watching the sheep in the field walk up to the Owl trying to figure out what the heck he was doing there. There were a couple of stand-off situations with the curious sheep but the Snowy Owl did not look amused at all.

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

 

Posted by on December 19, 2011 in Photography Adventures

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Coastal Oregon

Amazingly, we encountered beautiful and sunny weather while we were in the Portland area. It did rain on one of the five days we were there but who can complain when we were there for the only days it didn’t rain in the past two months?

Oregon Coast
Oregon Coast

Glaucous-winged and Western Gulls were overly abundant along the coast. Didn’t find any Thayer’s Gulls the first day but did find a single Eurasian Wigeon on a golf course pond.

Western Gull
Western Gull

The second day we checked out Westmoreland Park near SE Portland and found several adult Thayer’s Gulls in addition to 1st cycle Thayer’s, a flock of 12+ (minima) Cackling Geese, Eurasian Wigeon and many Wood Ducks.

Cackling Goose
Cackling Goose (B.h. minima)

Wood Duck
Wood Duck

Eurasian Wigeon
Eurasian Wigeon

Thayer's Gull
Thayer’s Gull (adult)

Thayer's Gull
Thayer’s Gull (adult)

Thayer's Gull
Thayer’s Gull (1st cycle)

We ended the trip with a beautiful stay in the Willamette Valley wine country. We’ve been up to the area several times before but the beautiful weather in the middle of December was a lovely treat.

Willamette Valley
Willamette Valley

 

Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Photography Adventures

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