Short-eared Owls, December 10th, 2011

Leader: Ann Mitchell

On a very cold, blustery day seventeen brave people, six being members of the Cornell Student Bird Club, joined me in search of Short-eared Owls. Because we started at 3:00 P.M. we had at least two hours before sunset. We carpooled to Myers Point. It was extremely windy with high waves to see much in the water. Many of us scoped the area and saw only three species of gulls and Mallards. We next went to Ladoga to get out of the wind and hoped to more species of waterfowl. Stepping out of his car, Paul Anderson commented as to how "balmy" it felt. We scanned for awhile. The outcome was a flotilla of Coots, Mallards, two Black Ducks and two Common Loons.

We then drove to the end of Scofield Road in Lansing where Gary Kohlenberg and I saw an owl two days previously. Nothing was being seen because it was really early, so thirteen of us walked to the end of the road to keep warm. It was a extremely quiet for birds. As the sun became lower in the sky, we did see three flocks of Canada Geese flying south. Eventually, it became dark enough to see some planets - Venus and Jupiter. Someone put a scope on Jupiter, and we all saw four moons. Then, our moon rose. It was huge and orange. We gawked at it. We waited until dark to see a Short-eared Owl, but to no avail. It was disappointing, but everyone still had a great time. Many said they would go next year. I want to say thanks to everyone who joined me on the trip. It was great!

One last thing - Bob McGuire composed this haiku before the trip was over: High hopes, Seven scopes, No owls.