Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

January 25, 2012

Snowy #6

On Sunday January 21, 2012, Angie and I saw MY 6th Snowy Owl for the season and her 5th. She missed the last one I saw due to construction workers scaring her out of a potential roosting/hunting area.

What a sight this guy was! And it's funny because we were off to check out a female Snowy in the area we heard reports of. Lucky for us, the road exit took us by this guy and as soon as we took the turn... Angie shouts "there's a Snowy!"

We had an amazing brief visit with this guy before a couple off-leash dogs flushed him from the fence post.

We never did find the female reported up the road but still may try again another day before the Snowys all head back up to the tundra. Enjoy the pics!

Crack of dawn and Mr. Snowy is possibly still on the hunt for his next meal.

The warm glow of that morning sun is deceiving on another cold January morning.

We are well away from him as you can see.

A walk to the west of the field got a better view of him before a couple large dogs came running over to get a look at this majestic bird for themselves.

I think it is necessary to post this reminder to everyone after my Owl posts, something to remember when you find yourself in the presence of any Owl...

The Owl Code of Ethics (that can be used with any wildlife sightings really)

Absolutely no dogs are allowed.
Keep a minimum distance of five metres from owls.
Be silent; speak in whispers.
Do not linger in front of an owl more than a couple of minutes.
If you cause an owl to fly, do not pursue it.
Do not bait owls with rodents.
No flash photography allowed.
No sound devices allowed.
Do not remove branches or vegetation.
Stay on the existing trails.
If the bird is on private property, please respect that this is private property and view safely from the side of the road.

Report harassment of owls to 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667).

I ask if you find an Owl in your travels to please keep it as quiet as possible. Call it selfish as some will, but it's a matter of protecting the birds. Word travels fast on these creatures showing up in the GTA. And so many people will go seek out the bird. The bird needs to live it's life... to rest and to hunt. These things cannot be done with constant human presence.

Please be responsible and respectful is what I ask.

January 19, 2012

I saw my fifth Snowy of the season!

I saw my fifth Snowy Owl yesterday.  A good number for me but pales in comparison to some others who have seen more than 2 dozen in Southern Ontario.

This is THE year to see a Snowy Owl in the wild.  As I previously blogged before, there is a Snowy Owl "invasion" or as the proper term is "irruption".  Check out this really cool YouTube video about the invasion, it's only 3 mins long and well worth the viewing.

I love birding and I love taking photos.  Now I've got my fix for the time being on viewing Snowys, I really hope to capture something great in way of a photograph for personal memories of this amazing winter with them.  Too often the birds are far off in fields and other spots where they hope to rest and not be disturbed...  and I can respect that, and I WILL RESPECT that.  One day I will luck out and get THE shot for me.

Here's the 5 Snowys to date...

Snowy #1 was found just east of Toronto along the lakeshore.

Snowy #2, a beautiful near pure white male, found about 35 mins north of Toronto near Newmarket.

The next two made for a 2 Snowy Owl day about 3 hours east of Toronto.  This one is perched way out in a cattle field atop a potential Osprey nest stand.

Despite the distance, this is my personal favorite shot of a Snowy Owl for the winter.  The landscaping and sky just make it so nice.

And #5 was found just down the road from me yesterday.  There is a man working on a boat in the background (blue helmet) and has no idea that a majestic bird is so very near him resting.

Thanks for looking.  I hope to share a few more with you in the coming weeks before they all fly way north again.  And apologies for my absence but it's winter, I got birds to see...  winter really is a great season for birding, believe it or not, you just gotta bundle up and go!

January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy new year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season, no matter what/how/where and with who you celebrated the last few weeks.

I love the holidays but really am glad it's over and things can go back to normal.  You know, routines are back in order, the deadly sin "Gluttony" has left the house and it's time to start saving again, clearing up some Christmas bills, and get back to birding and wildlife watching.

Some people do not fully understand why I enjoy it.  I do love to take pictures of what I see out there, it allows me to take home a memory from that outing.  And if it's something really nice, I may develop it, frame it, place it in a photo album, or set it aside for next year's calendar that Angie and I put together for ourselves and a few family/friends.  Another reason is just to show people what is out there if one opens their eyes/ears and keeps their mouth if they chose to go for a walk in a more natural setting than just around the block.  Hey, I am promoting physical activity if one takes an interest in following my steps!  And a walk in the woods can be far more interesting if a person begins to take notice of all the different birds, animals, insects and plants around them whether they walk alone or with someone else.  I'd like to think that the photos I share may also bring awareness in a positive way to the wild world around us.  Some are in disbelief of what I see that is just out our back doors.

Angie called this "our yoga" quite some time ago.  And I've always agreed.  And I've shared this idea with others who much like me, enjoy the outdoors and always carry a camera with them.  Make it about a nice walk away from civilization, being around our wild friends, forgetting work, life's drama and you will come home from it a much more relaxed happier person.  And some have listened to this, so they tell me.  That's great!

I've gotten to know some great people over the last few years who share these interests with me and have the same idea of just enjoying whatever the dirt path takes us to.  While I do enjoy many of my walks alone, the company is great too.  I love the adventure of exploring as I walk and having an extra set of eyes at times is even better.  Of course Angie is my favorite counter-part on these walks but making new friends through this has been amazing.  Being 42, taking care of oneself is even more important now...  both physically and mentally.

Anyways, enjoy a few photos of recent sightings below here.  More to come. 

Happy trails!

A long-eared Owl.  Probably the most skittish species of Owl that I know of.
 A Raccoon sleeping in a tree cavity that might just be a tad too small for him.
 A Red-tailed Hawk along a side road.
 A Northern Pintail Duck.  He's a beauty!
 Always a treat to cross paths with White-tailed Deer.
 The same Hawk from above.  Big beautiful birds of prey.