Today was really fun. In the morning, at Junior Staff, we were collecting specimens from the recently thawed pond. This was the first time we were surveying the life this spring, and we found it was thriving. Amphibians were very abundant, but only of 3 species- Wood Frog (everywhere), Spotted Newt, and Yellow-spotted Salamander. Having all these really cool specimens right at my fingertips gave me an opportunity to use my new digital camera, the Canon Powershot A2200, which just came out earlier this month. I got some great shots.
Afterwards, Dad and I went to Stratford in search of an Iceland Gull. We searched in vain for a while, but managed to turn up a single White-winged Scoter and a Boat-tailed Grackle, which was really nice. Then it was off to Sherwood Island to look for Short-eared Owl. As we walked to the marshes we passed a bunch of American Tree Sparrows. Suddenly my Dad called “I got it!” I sprinted to the marsh edge and sure enough there was a Short-eared Owl gliding around over the grass. For a while we watched it hunt back and forth along the marsh, and other nonbirders joined us to marvel at this awesome bird. Finally the bird went down and I managed to get a cool (but blurry) shot of it as it stared at us with it’s striking yellow eyes.
A really fantastic bird and a great day!