Monday, January 27, 2014

Hunt for a Snowy Owl in Weld County

Email sent to listserve "cobirders" on 1/26/2014 by Jerry Petrosky

What ungodly noise is that?
I wake up to see devilish red numbers piercing my eyes, 5:00
The phone call was from Bryan, am I going to make our rendezvous?

Yesterday (Saturday), Richard Stevens, Bryan Ehlmann and I went on an adventure.
A search for the Loch Ness Monster?
Big foot, although I heard it was shot last week?
A Snowy Owl in Colorado?

A Snowy Owl it was.
It was pitch black in the cloudy night at 4:30 am.
Not even a glimpse of the sliver of waning moon was seen.
The tires rattled along the cracks in the highway.

Hey guys, doesn't this demon heat up more in the backseat?
Later gravel crunching under the tires filled the air.

We stopped at a riparian area near Riverside Reservoir,
A heavy fog barely visible.

A Great Horned Owl called in the cottonwoods.
ho, hoo, hoo hoododo hoooo...
ho, hoo, hoo hoododo hoooo...

Who, who's awake, me too...

Red-tailed Hawk screeched
Guess we disturbed him also.

Soon the sky brighten slightly in the east.
The frost covered grasses barely seen swaying in the wind.

Many white clumps of snow remaining from recent storms looked like a Snowy Owl.
As it got lighter, we stopped many times to scope the rolling hills.
Steady winds shook our tripods.
Hundreds of snow clumps, no Snowy Owl.

Hundreds of light brown birds, now and then flashing yellow, Horned Larks!
Now and then the yell, darker brown bird with whitish tail, Lapland Longspur.
Not as loud, guys, lack of sleep has put my senses on edge.

We drove up and down the county road for hours.
In and out of the car, still no Snowy Owl.

Finally we ran out of roads and decided to head for home.

5:20 am now, my warm bed beckons.
My wife keeping it toasty.

Sorry guys, go on without me, may you find the Snowy Owl.

Instead of going on the internet and sending this email,
Who would read it, all should be asleep.
Later and good night!


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