Saturday, March 15, 2014

Eastern Screech Owl at Great Meadows NWR

I took my first walk at Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge in Stow, MA.  It was pretty quiet bird-wise, but I did see an Eastern Bluebird, three Canada Geese, and three American Crows and heard Black-Capped Chickadees, Red-Winged Blackbirds and Tufted Titmice.  Yet another outing where I put my Kahtoola Microspikes to good use.  Several people asked me where I bought them.  It was slick and icy in many spots on the trails, but I was able to walk where, how far (5 miles), and how quickly I wanted, thanks to the spikes.

From there I went to Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, which was also pretty quiet until I took the last turn to the parking lot.  As I was passing a woman on a bench, she mentioned that she had just seen an owl.  She offered to show it to me if in return I would drive her to the train station, so I agreed.  We backtracked a bit and soon I was enjoying this view of a beautiful Eastern Screech Owl (red morph) stuffed into a hole in a tree that looked like it might be just a little too small for it!

Lots of snow is melting and water was underneath it in a lot of places on the trail.  We're getting closer and closer to spring!

Eastern Screech Owl

Other birds on this hike included:

 Common Grackle
(first of year)

Song Sparrow

Mute Swans

While I was watching the swans, I saw a mink bounding along the shore, but he dipped into the water before I could catch a photo.

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