Gurnet Light came into view shortly after we left the snow buntings behind. That signaled we had to be approaching our turn-around as this was the end of the road. To my surprise Dave parked the van and invited us all out to follow him over the dunes to the beach beyond.
There was a lot of bird activity here. No Snowy Owls but enough other feathered friends to hold our attention.
Ducks bobbed on the waves. A seal popped his head up for a quick look around. Several Cormorants stretched their wings to the sun drying their feathers before their next dive. A flock of snow buntings winged past, banking sharply as one before swooping back past us.
Through all this activity the deep blue ocean made a breath-taking backdrop.
Closer to shore the breakers were dropping their bits of sea grass before receding.
A Sandling raced up and down the edge of the waves.
A relative to the Sandpiper this comical little guy didn’t stay still for one second.
Finally it was time to go back to the vans for the return trip. We spotted a finch and a sparrow and Dave began to explain the difference when a flock of snow buntings swooped over the van and settled on the fence next to the road. Dave pulled the van to a stop but before anyone could move there was Mr. Copper’s Hawk dive bombing the little gathering. We didn’t see him catch anything but he got an A for effort as Snow Buntings scattered in all directions.
Show over we moved on a bit further until Dave once again stopped the van. He set up the scope and all he said was take a look and there it was. Our Snowy owl was still right there on the ice but he was a bit more active now. He still had the remains of his breakfast and he hopped up and down on the carcass. Even as far away as we were he seemed to sense us and slowly his head swiveled around and he latched that golden-eyed stare right on us. Those of us at the scope let out an audible sigh before he turned his attention back to his meal.
We watched with scope, binoculars and cameras for quite awhile as he put on his little rapter show but eventually all things must end and we left Mr. Snowy to his lunch.
This was a great experience. I was disappointed that we only saw one owl but it’s better than none. I was also disappointed that he was out of my camera range but at least I got to see him. The hawk was a great encore. I loved the hawk! The sandling and snow buntings were a plus as well…and I was warm the whole time!
I’d call this experience a success!