Hayward Regional Shoreline (11/20/2021)

Today was an EPIC OWL DAY.

But, first, we saw so many geese! Canada Geese and Cackling Geese and Greater White-fronted Geese and Snow Geese!! Last one is a life bird for me. And, there were five of them! Geese are pretty amazing to look at. They look like machines. And the last two are quite beautiful to see.

The first owl of the day was a very well hidden Burrowing Owl that Bob spotted, trying to hide amidst the tall grass and away from the many geese. It flew out and to a little better viewpoint. But, it had plans to lay low, so we left it alone.

Saw American Pipits and Western Meadowlarks and a Hermit Thrush and a Black Phoebe along our walk among the geese. Also, many groups of super large mushrooms. Pavement Mushrooms?

The hope was that we’d see a Short-eared Owl. We walked in the area Bob thought it’d be in. I spotted a small owl feather on the ground, which seemed like a good sign. But, we didn’t see it where we thought we might, and perhaps when we were about to give up and start walking back he saw it flying! It flew around us and away from us then back toward where it came from and eventually out of our sight. But, we got to watch it fly for so long! LIFE OWL!

Having had great looks at it flying plus seeing a Northern Harrier fly by, we started heading back. Hoping for maybe a glimpse of the resident Barn Owl that we saw flying there last spring around the same time of day. We were nearing the path down to the main trail when Juli spotted another/ the same (?) Short-eared Owl flying again! She and I watched it fly south, while Bob and Brian spotted and watched a DIFFERENT Short-eared Owl flying west!! The theory was that there was just the one Short-eared Owl in the area, whoa!

It was all very exciting, and we were quite satisfied. But, as we approached the car, Bob saw the Barn Owl fly past us, and it landed on a fence/wood pole spot where it was totally out in the open for us to see. Even got to see it in their super fantastic scope. If that owl wasn’t mostly white, it would have been tough to see and admire. But, it totally stood out and just perched there for a spell, letting us watch happily.

Then, all of a sudden, a Short-eared Owl flew in front of it and past us! It was AN OWLAPALOOZA, PEOPLE. I started to think that Short-eared Owl wanted to be EXTRA CERTAIN that we saw it or something!

We watched the Barn Owl fly off and onto a distant wood pole. And, it was a perfect ending to an entirely owl-filled day. So many thanks to Bob & Juli for delivering owl happiness to us both today!!

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