What a night! A small group of birders took a slow stroll through Indian Crossings Park tonight and it was truly magical. Before I get into the details take a look at this amazing piece of art by 11-year-old Meg from Tecumseh. She made it for me as a gift and titled it, “From a fellow birder 2012”. I love it! It was a great start to a great night of owling.
I knew it was going to be a good night when Russell Columbus showed up and handed his camera to me. “Look what I found”, he said. On his way to owling he spotted a Snowy Owl on a power pole along M-50 near Britton. Johanna Lentz was there too. She saw the Snowy Owl that appeared in Britton two weeks ago. She said this one was not the same bird. Hers was not as white.
After everyone had taken a look at the Snowy pic we headed off into the woods. The night was still and the skies were clear…for once. We headed up to the bluff overlooking Globe Mill Pond. I called in a Screech Owl there one week ago within the Pines. Well, I played some calls and …..Nuthin’! I have to admit I got a little nervous. I was sure we would find an owl there. But it was early and the Canada Geese were still coming in….makin’ a huge racket! So we moved on. We decided to take the trail that circles back to where we started. It was getting darker and we were getting deeper into the woods. That’s when the Screech Owls started to come alive. First a faint call in the distance. Then another. There were at least two…possibly three birds responding to our calls….but none seemed to be getting closer. Johanna leaned forward and whispered, “play the calls softly and maybe they will come in closer”. So I did and sure enough one Screech Owl appeared out of nowhere and alighted on a branch in front of us. I continued to play the calls quietly. The owl made a few passes over my head. We put a red light on her so everyone could get a good look at it. It hung around for about ten minutes or so before it swooped over me and headed back into the woods. We all smiled and giggled in appreciation. That was amazing! I think we were all pretty satisfied after that. I played a few more Barred Owl and Great Horned Owl calls further down the trail but I really didn’t mind that none called back. I kept staring at the night sky. There was no need for a flash light. The stars and moon lit the trail. We spent 90 minutes in the woods altogether. I could have stayed out there all night.