Today was a very abbreviated Naturing day. I HAD planned on getting out round 2pmish, but at that time it was heavily misting outside. Not as many birds out. Risky getting phone camera and digital camera wet. Meh.
But it finally stopped doing that around 4pm, so I ventured out for an hourish before it was happy hour time. And I had every intention of going to find my owls.
I’d heard from Ren that she heard TWO in the East soon after the distressing news of a Great Horned Owl being stuck in netting at the Bandshell. So I had good confidence that my favorite pair were not involved in that unfortunate incident.
But I wanted to see (or hear) for myself and continue my search for The Nest.
Since it had so recently been wet out today, I did a quick stroll to look for my Chocolate Arion slug friend in the CAS Botanical Garden. AND to see if any Red-cage Fungus were still out. No to the slug, but YES to Red-cage Fungus! Found about 6 or so eggs in the usual spot under the now-blooming Twinberry Honeysuckle. And, looking down at these enchanting eggs, I thought to myself, “Now THIS is the kinda egg hunt I’d be into!”
The trail there had a divine scent of the blooming white Ceanothus nearby. And I caught sight of a pretty Garden Snail that had an unusually intriguing shell design.
Onto my owls, and there one was in the fakenesttree! Soon after I spotted it there, it hooted. And I knew it was Pa Owl. Also, that face. SO PA OWL.
After watching a Brown Creeper creep up a tree trunk for a bit, I went to visit the Lily Pond.
On the way there, I heard a strange bird sound and looked up to see a Cooper’s Hawk or Sharp-shinned Hawk flying above me. Merlin’s Sound ID believed it to be a Cooper’s Hawk! It headed toward the AIDS Memorial Grove, so perhaps it’s that same one I’ve seen there before?
All was pretty quiet at the pond, except for a couple Ring-necked Ducks, a crying Red-shouldered Hawk, and a couple singing Dark-eyed Juncos. Heard what sounded like a Junco song that Merlin’s Sound ID thought was a Chipping Sparrow. Never seen one before, so I went to investigate.
Passed the fruiting Mountain Grape and spotted a Wilson’s Warbler in the bushes opposite the pond. Then a Ruby-crowned Kinglet bopped around in a tree above me and even almost flew into me as it tried to flycatch?? Crap photos of both were all I got.
After seeing a Townsend’s Warbler zoom over the pond and admiring the Prunus blossoms on the back trail, I followed the “Chipping Sparrow” sound and eventually found a singing Dark-eyed Junco! Guess they sound similar? Or I followed the wrong song. Hm.
I had time for one last chance to look at Pa Owl. But I couldn’t find him! Eventually spotted him in a different spot in the same tree. And noticed he was on a tree branch that had broken a bit from the trunk. Made me very nervous to see him on it! Looked and looked for a nest but didn’t find one.
HOWEVER, there were A TON of owl pellet bits on the Slime Mold Lab Trail right near the fakenesttree. Fascinating to look at them all. How strange I must look to random people walking nearby. But the pellets made me think maybe the nest and Ma Owl were above? But couldn’t find her. Can’t wait to see her again. And perhaps an owlet with her soon??