Metropolitan Homesick Blues

Southampton Stories & Other Stuff


with 2 comments

They came to occupy our back roads and farm fields. Stoically perched on hydro poles and fence posts, they survey their bleak surroundings, heads rotating in seemingly full circle, ever vigilant for any movement in the mud and snow. Oblivious to any kind of weather, they wait. Patience is their stock in trade. They sit almost motionless for hours; the only sign of movement is the wind ruffling their feathers. When they take flight they glide low over the ground. Then with a few short strokes of their wings they gain height and settle again on another high vantage point – to wait.

It all started with emails from Bruce County Birders. The Snowy Owls had arrived in more than normal numbers. This was something that doesn’t happen every year. Sightings were posted. Locations changed from day to day. The excitement was palpable. The news sent all serious birders on a quest. The search was part of the excitement. Those that found them were happy to send their photographs.

Our first sighting was early in the morning driving down Bruce Road 3 at 80km an hour…one solitary bird, high above the road on a hydro pole in the breaking dawn light. It was an accidental view, a fleeting glance but a glance nonetheless. We crisscrossed the county a number of times after that. Finally, one sunny day, on our way out of Paisley towards Underwood we saw four of them. They sat quietly for their portraits waiting for us to be done.

Looking at them I got the impression that they were unimpressed with the whole procedure. If I were a Snowy Owl looking down at all these people with their binoculars and cameras with protruding lenses I would probably be wondering what all the fuss was about.

But I’m not a Birder or a Snowy Owl. 

Written by metropolitanhomesickblues

February 5, 2012 at 5:21 PM

2 Responses

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  1. Hi Ed. Thanks for the posting of the snowy owl. What a wonderful bird, especially when you catch it isolated from all other distractions. We have not had a great or variety or number of birds come to our feeder this winter. The typical visitors, chickadees, our friendly cardinals, and the usual winter folks, the junkos. We have a nesting pair of red tail hawks who make their daily patrol;s of the neighbourhood, looking for game I suppose. The bald eagles are working on their nest and we look forward to seeing eaglets this spring. Keep warm my friend, spring is just around the corner.


    Steinmetz Fred

    February 26, 2012 at 7:21 PM

    • Hey Fred: Glad you liked it. To confuse things even more – this Robin was sitting in the tree outside our sitting room last week. And the Cardinals are singing their hearts out. Take care. Ed Ed’s blog:


      February 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM

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