The scene is stark and peaceful white. If there were a sign, it would read, “Welcome to the edge of the world.” Thirty eager birders trek through “Owl Woods” on Amherst Island in search of feathered eye candy. We had already spotted numerous Rough-legged Hawks, a juvenile Snowy Owl, Snow Buntings, and a Long-eared Owl from the fleet of cars we slowly maneuvered over the snowy roads.
The first encounter along the bitter cold walk was with my favorites, the Black-capped Chickadees. I held out my seed filled hand and let out a giggle when the first chickadee perched his finely feathered self on my glove. He snatched a peanut and exploded into a spastic flight joining his friends in the frosty trees. Although I could have stood among the charming “dee dee dees” all day, I managed to pull myself away and catch up with the Kingston Field Naturalists.
My nose lost feeling, but it didn’t matter when I was staring into the golden-yellow eyes of the Boreal Owl. She perched sleepily as photographers kneeled in the snow and took aim.
Other cool sightings: Gray Jays, Ruffed Grouse, Boreal Chickadee, Short-eared Owl, Northern Saw-Whet Owl