For me it can be a number of things...a rare sighting (even more special
if I am lucky enough to find it myself, although I am not above going to
staked out birds), a close encounter, or a favorite bird at an unexpected
time or place. Sometimes several of those factors converge to make a
truly memorable sighting.
Great Gray Owls are my very favorite bird, and although I have seen a
number of them, one in particular stands out.
It was last winter in the Sax-Zim bog. I had not seen a Great Gray for
quite some time, and after a long day in the bog I finally decided I had
better head for home, as it was beginning to snow heavily. Suddenly I saw
a large shape glide out over the road ahead of me and return to a roadside
tree. It turned out to be a Great Gray, which perched right next to the
road and peered at me with those incredible yellow eyes while I pulled
over and took a couple of quick photos throught the swirling snow. I
think I smiled all the way home.
> Saturdays' Great Gray Owl - as well as the much more common Gray Jays -
> stuck with me through today.
> The Great Gray was due to its absence/rarity, 13 months since my last
> sighting, and at least a couple of years since I last had one on Aitkin 18
> (which I visit nearly monthly). Its "presence" (size, face/eyes,
> coloration, silence, jizz and probably other factors) also contributed to
> the overall joy.
> The Gray Jays were due to their proximity, and unique calls. The
> opportunity to enjoy their specific features from ten feet away was a rare
> For me, coloration and markings mix tend to leave lasting impressions.
> first Scarlet Tanager, Blackburnian/Golden-winged/Black and White
> Ruddy Turnstone and a few others each year linger in my mind.
> How about you?
> Al Schirmacher
> Princeton, MN
> Mille Lacs & Sherburne Counties
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