Harriers See a Show at the Coast

February 16, 2014

A contingent of the NH Young Birders paid a visit to the ocean last weekend, on a mission for the Snowy Owl. They were rewarded with excellent sights of not one, not two, but SIX Snowy Owls, and much else besides. Aiden Deegan proclaimed the Sanderling his favorite bird after watching them play tag with the incoming waves on the beach. We listened to the wingbeats of three Mute Swans, plainly audible from a half-mile away, and watched a dark-morph Rough-legged Hawk cruise low over the salt flats. Rob and Kelsi Mumford got to see more than a half-a-dozen "lifers," including two Short-eared Owls, the second of which put on a mesmerizing show at the outer tip of Salisbury Beach State Reservation, just before the snow came down in earnest. But the highlight of the day was the Snowy Owl, including this one, pictured below, at Salisbury. Bryn Stevens, on her first YBC trip, named the bird "Hedwig," and afterwards told her mom breathlessly, "We're coming to EVERY event, okay?"

"Hedwig," Salisbury Beach State Reservation, 2/16/14 Photograph by Henry Walters

"Hedwig," Salisbury Beach State Reservation, 2/16/14
Photograph by Henry Walters