And we found an owl. But it wasn't the owl we expected.
We first spotted it from the trail, looking into the sun. I thought it was an olds wasp's nest. But upon further review it was an owl. But what kind? It was hard to see, high up and tucked into the branches. This is the only usable shot I managed to take. Our first thought was northern saw-whet owl, but having recently been owl banding this bird seemed to large to be a saw-whet, thus we tentatively identified it as a barred owl. I sent this image out asking for an ID, and everyone answered saw-whet. So saw-whet it is. And while I've seen saw-whets in the wild, this it s the first one I found.
Female house finch above, male below.
American gold finch.
These are the usual suspects found at feeders in the winter. There is a small pond next to the feeders so occasionally you'll get one of these wandering about, a female mallard.
And where there are feeder birds there are birds the feed on them ...
This cooper's hawk flew in and everyone else flew out.
Yep, show's over. Time to leave.
So we retreated into the visitors center and warmed up by the wood burning stove. It was a nice morning, but Patty's still never seen a long-eared owl in the wild. We'll just have to keep searching.