I wasn’t planning on going to Britton again today. The last time the Snowy Owl was seen was last Tuesday night. But when I received an email this morning that said it was relocated I grabbed my scope and headed out the door.
It was first seen on a telephone pole on Downing Road just south of M-50. But when I arrived it had already flown off. I drove slowly down the quiet dirt roads and noticed about a dozen other vehicles doing the same thing. When I was about ready to give up I was flagged down by a Saline birder who yelled out his window, “the owl is over here!”.
The Snowy Owl was equidistant between Hoagland and Downing. I pulled over and set up my scope. It appeared to be the same all-white Snowy Owl from Tuesday night. I stayed and watched it through my scope for 2 hours and talked to birders from Farmington Hills, Ann Arbor, Saline and Toledo. All these people were coming to Lenawee County to catch a glimpse of a rare Snowy Owl. While I was standing there a local man pulled up next to me. He asked what we were looking at? I pointed the owl out to him. He replied, “oh that owl has been around a lot lately”. Charles Owens and I believe that this owl may be hanging around because of all the waterfowl near the Britton sewage lagoons. It’s a great place for him to swoop in and pick up a Mallard or two.
It’s hard to tell how long the Snowy Owl will stick around? It may be enjoying a bit of solitude in the barren soybean fields right now, but in a few months the John Deere tractors will awaken from their winter slumber. In the mean time I hope this Snowy finds what it needs here and it’s nice to see so many out-of-towners coming to Lenawee to go birding. One birder from Farmington Hills asked me if I see many Northern Harriers in Lenawee? I told her Northern Harriers are all over…wherever there is a grassy field there’s a Northern Harrier….and you only have to drive a mile to see a grassy field. She replied, “all we have in Farmington Hills are houses”. I think she’ll be back.