28 January 2012

Short-eared Owls

There were a couple of SHORT-EARED OWLS just south of Elk Grove, Sacramento County.  These were spotted at dusk hunting over a portion of Stone Lakes NWR.  Here are a couple of pictures of a distant SEOW hunting:

To bird this area, we parked at the dead-end of Nestling Circle and walked along the walking path alongside the grasslands.  Here is a map of where the owls were flying around (feel free to use the "+" icon to zoom in and see where Nestling Circle is located):
View SEOW @ Elk Grove in a larger map

Other than that, it was nice week in the Central Valley after a weekend of solid rain.  Doing some survey work at Staten Island is quite enjoyable when you can see snow-capped mountains in the distance!  

But of course bird surveys are ALWAYS enjoyable when you can look at a field with thousands of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED and SNOW GEESE.  Such was the case on Staten Island:

I was also near Modesto recently for work and again spotted a PHAINOPEPLA along the San Joaquin River.  I first spotted a PHAINOPEPLA at this location back on 5 January (you can view that post on my blog here).  I didn't spend much time working on getting good pictures, just enough to prove it:

The last picture is not of a bird, but a COYOTE instead.  This particular one near Modesto wasn't afraid of me (which is rather disconcerting):