On Sunday I was able to spend some quailty time watching the feeders in our front yard. There is a band of normal birds that visit nearly daily--BC Chickadee, Downy WP, Red-bellied WP, and an occasional Titmouse. However, with the recent snow our feeders have become a bit more popular. The normal crew showed up and darted between the feeders and tree. It was quite fun watching them and apparently they were making enough noise to attract some other birds in the neighborhood. Not long after the normal crew showed up, we had a few more visitors to the yard. A lone Yellow-rumped Warbler darted into our yard and lingered long enough to grab a bite. This was a first for our yard! The activity also attracted a pair of Goldfinches and a group of Juncos. I know these birds are not uncommon, but it was quite entertaining to see them show up in our front yard!
Life has been pretty hectic for the past week. I haven't been able to tromp around seeking out too many birds since I don't get off work until several hours after sunset. However, I did make another trip to see the Short-Eared Owls today. This time both my mom and dad came along for the show. It was just as entertaining this time as it was the first time.
For the past two weeks I've been reading on surfbirds.com about Missouri birders seeing a group of Short-eared Owls in an area just east of Smithville Lake. Unfortunately I don't get off of work until after dark.....way too late to observe the owl show (what I've been calling it for the past few days). Today was different though! Late this afternoon my mom and I headed to the area where the birds have been spotted. While waiting for the show we saw several entertaining sparrows (mostly American Tree). We even got some wonderful views of 2 Northern Harriers hunting the surrounding fields. Mom and I were just starting to doubt that we would see the Owls when I spotted a blunt torpedo shape flying far off above the field. Within minutes there was a group of 6-8 Short-eared Owls flying between both sides of the road where we were parked. They hunted in the area for nearly 15 minutes before they flew off into the darkness. It was overwhelming! The birds were a joy to watch. Their wings! Their swiveling heads! Those EYES!
Owls have got to be my favorite. (Although I feel like I say that with every new bird I have the pleasure of observing) I feel like I'm catching a glimpse of a secret life every time I see an owl.
I've never had trouble finding something to do...Cycling,tennis, creating something out of stained glass are a few things I enjoy. Recently I've added birding to the list and suspect it will become a lifelong hobby.