Monday 5 January 2009

Snowy Owl .....Or a Big White Blob

After weeks of procrastination, yesterday I finally decided to 'grasp the nettle', 'take the bull by the horns', 'bite the bullet' or any one of a hundred other idioms and make the six hour round trip to Zennor and the Snowy Owl. I tried to muster up a car load of birders but only Bun was able to come, he'd even seen it before but was still keen to see it again! We set off at 5:00 AM hoping to arrive at daybreak and this is almost exactly what happened. We arrived at 7:45 and it was only just beginning to get light, which was good because it gave us time to break out the flasks for a pre-twitch coffee. It certainly wasn't a very popular bird today. While we were waiting in the car a single birder turned up and that was it! The three of us made our way for about a kilometre over the boggy moorland until the owl was spotted sitting out on a large rock.

Smiling faces all round as scopes are directed towards their target which was only feet away!...

.... About 1500 feet away!! The Snowy Owl was on that hillside over there! I'll zoom in a bit....

There it is! Look!! Right in the centre; that white specky blob just below the horizon, you can see it...*squints*.
OK I'll zoom in more...

Tah-Da!! A much bigger blob. Actually (if you enlarge this) you can see that it's got eyes and a beak and everything!!

Seriously though we did have very good views through our scopes and the rising sun really made it stand out nicely. It was awake and looking around, a truly awesome bird!! It really doesn't matter that this is the best photo I could get because it just so happens that I got a lovely Christmas card from Steve, with a Snowy Owl picture on it and it's an almost exact representation of the Zennor bird. Take a look:

Our scope views looked exactly like this...OK, not exactly, obviously the eyes were open more and there was just a smidgen less glitter!!

The views on our way back to the car were simply stunning:

Looking to the Southwest from Zennor Moor. The colours were gorgeous!

We watched the owl for around an hour all told, leaving at 10-ish and were back in Seaton for 1:00PM. This was my first 'self- driven' twitch and it went very well indeed so I'm sure it's not going to be my last!

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