Snowy Owl in Massachusetts (Jan 13)

When Susan and I recently traveled to New England to see family and friends, we'd heard of an irruption of Snowy Owls in the Parker River NWR, on Plum Island near Newburyport, MA. We'd been to Parker River before, in May 2012.

Fun sign at the entrance to Parker River NWR :-)

We'd only seen a Snowy Owl once before, here in Colorado during an irruption in January 2012.

We dragged our friend Steve from Nashua out with us and went off in search of a Snowy Owl. We were almost immediately rewarded with distant views of three different owls, and we spent a fair amount of time observing them with binoculars, wishing they were closer.

The first of the distant Snowy Owls we saw at Parker River NWR
Wild Turkey along the road at Parker River
Second Snowy Owl

Our third Snowy Owl!

And then on the way out of Plum Island we got to see a fourth one fairly close off the road. He was feeding on something, perhaps a small bird or vole.

We observed (along with a lot of others who'd pulled off the road too) for awhile until he flew off to land on a nearby house.

Then we went in to Newburyport to celebrate our birding success by eating dinner at Loretta. We got wonderful attention of the owner, some nice Irish stout and an excellent meal.

Bobcat in the Yard!

I was working at my desk in our bedroom and caught some motion out the window. I turned my head to look outside and saw a bobcat in the yard!

I quickly got up and grabbed the camera, and returned to shoot him through the bedroom window, which unfortunately had a screen in it.

Got a few shots off and then followed him through the house to other windows as he moved west.

Also woke Susan up from a nap so she could get a look at it.

After he (or she) was long gone, I went out to the snowbank he crossed and found his footprints (shown with a set of car keys for scale).

And we learned our lesson -- we removed all our screens from the window! :-)

So fun to see wildlife literally in our backyard, and a great start to the New Year!