Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Searching for Snowy

On Facebook the other day, my favorite news girl Shelly Monahan from KHQ6, wrote that she had seen a Snowy Owl across from Mt. Spokane high school.  I knew right away that I wanted to see that owl!  The owls must be following lucky Shelly, because she saw the Snowy owl more than once, and also had a visit from a Great Horned Owl.  She has told the story before about a Great Horned Owl killing their poor African Grey Parrot a few years back, so they don't much welcome the Great Horned.  I couldn't get to town the first part of the week, because I was suffering from a constant headache, but when Wednesday arrived, I felt good enough to go to town in search of my first Snowy Owl.  It's been awhile since I have had a new bird on my life list.

I arrived at Mt. Spokane high school right after 1:00 pm, which was the time Shelly had seen the owl before.  As I drove by the school, I was a bit disappointed that there was no owl.  But I thought it would be worth my while to keep going down the highway to see if perhaps the bird was exploring other territories.  A mile or two down the highway, I saw a Red-tailed Hawk.  A bit farther down the road, I saw another Red-tailed hawk, and another, and another, and another!  Five Red-tails in less than 1/2 a mile.  The last four were every other telephone pole!  Although it isn't uncommon to see 4 or 5 Red-tails in one trip along the highway, I have never seen so many so close together.  There was also a little American Kestrel in the same area.  They are the smallest and cutest little hawks.
From the Archives

Red-Tailed Hawks

American Kestrel
After seeing all the Red-tailed hawks and the Kestrel, I headed back towards the high school to see if the owl had possibly showed up.  I was out of luck though, there was still no Snowy Owl.  So I headed into town and ran my errands.  After I was done with my grocery shopping, getting gas, and more grocery shopping, I thought I would head back up to Mt. Spokane before I headed home to Loon Lake.  As I pulled up to the high school, I see in the short distance, an outline of a light colored bird.  If it was a Red-tail, it would be darker.  I think quickly, oh shoot, I don't even have my camera ready.  I quickly pull out my super zoom camera, get it turned on, zoomed out, sunroof window open, pull up right under the light pole, and snap a shot!  The owl quickly decided she didn't like that, and started to fly off.  I tried real hard to get a picture of her flying, but with no luck.  But when I looked back at the shot I had got, it was a good one.  I was happy with it, given it was such a quick flick!  And so excited that I had actually seen the Snowy owl, and could add this beautiful bird to my life list of birds.  You can see my life list on the right of my blog.   --->>>

The Snowy Owl
I pulled around into the school parking lot, and watched as the bird flew back onto the light pole across from the school.  Again, it flew off into the field and over to an outbuilding/barn.  As I watched, I saw the owl fly and land in the field, and could barely make out the white blob off in the distance with the zoom on my camera.  But I knew it was there.  I pulled back onto the highway and parked on the shoulder, hoping the owl would come back to the light pole.  It was perched on the tip of the roof of the barn, and I was able to get a silhouette of the beautiful owl before it got too dark.  I finally left with excitement in my heart and the exhilaration of a new life bird!  Thank you so much Shelly Monahan for the great tip!


  1. HOW EXCITING!!! I know how much you love owls. I sure miss our little Baxtor. Gorgeous capture Sherrie :) Proud of you my friend!

  2. I was so darn excited to get a decent pic of the beautiful owl. Just seeing it is magical, but to get proof of the beauty makes it even more special! Your Baxtor Barn Owl was one of my favorite owl experiences, to be able to see such a creature up close and personal is so very cool!