Sax-Zim Bog Snow Storm Birding!

Upon waking up this morning, I checked two items to see if my first bonafide birding excursion of 2017 was possible. First and foremost I had to determine whether the pinched nerve which has been causing me intense pain in my back and left leg was healed enough to allow for a birding trip (it was!). My second bit of research was to check the weather forecast. A second wallop of a winter storm which started at dinner time last night was supposed to hold off long enough to allow me a morning excursion to the Bog (50 miles from my home).  The weather seemed perfect for owling … dark light due to light snow and light wind in the morning. The snows were do to resume midday.

Thus, I left an hour before sunrise and arrived in the bog at dawn’s first dismal light (heavy clouds and light snow). I found four other birders driving up and down Admiral Road, hoping like me to find a Great Gray Owl hunting after sunrise. Although I spent close to an hour on Admiral and McDavitt Roads, no owls were to be seen. Oh well, when success does not occur while birding … change your approach. I headed off onto some remote roads which I have never driven before. Jackpot! I found a Great Gray Owl hunting at 9:30 am. For the next 20 minutes I hiked the Bog and enjoyed watching the Gray Ghost of the Forest hunt for meadow voles, often from a distance of less than 20 yards! When my owl decided it was time to fly deep into the Bog, I realized my leg had limitations in the deep snow and I bade good-bye to my friend.

On my way out of the Bog I briefly stopped at the Welcome Center and a few other birding spots. The Winter birds now seem to be out in force. During the 9 miles of driving from my owl location to the Welcome Center, I saw 21 deer. The snow in the forest / Bog is now getting quite deep. It was obvious that the deer were using the same dirt road upon which I was driving to forage for breakfast because walking in the forest is now tough. Deep snow should finally mean more Canadian birds coming south, and more roadside hunting for owls!

My Great Gray Owl!

Redpoll in the Snow

Hwy #133 Redpoll Flocks

Wild Turkeys

One thought on “Sax-Zim Bog Snow Storm Birding!

  1. Love all your pics and decscriptions. Hope your back is better. As someone who has had lots of back problems, I can relate.

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