We rounded off the first week of our ArBY (Arboretum Big Year) with a close up and personal view of the Barred Owl that a friend had reported a few days ago. It was sitting in a tree overlooking the field between the Sugar Shack and Chalet Pruche which seems to have been the same general area, give or take a few hundred metres, in which it has been seen over the Christmas period. No idea if this is the same owl we were seeing further south and west of here in the arboretum during 2009 or if it is a new arrival setting up its own territory … either way it seems quite unfazed by people looking at it.
As we were enjoying its presence a couple of snowshoers passed by and wondered what we were looking at – on having the owl pointed out we got the full jaw-dropping “shock and awe” response that one expects in the presence of an owl and which is so gratifying … sadly, as we wandered off, one of the two tyros was clicking his fingers and trying to attract the attention of the bird although it seems not to have had any effect. I very much hope the mousing photographers are not tempted to make its acquaintance.
Certainly the highlight of the walk and it is also really nice to have got that bird ticked off so soon in the year on my ArBY list … no need to worry about it and I can spend my time looking for other rarities from now on.
Just a few pictures now of the arboretum in winter …