Monday, October 7, 2013

SAW-WHET SATURDAY

Two Cedar Waxwings enjoying the Juniper Tree berries on Terry's property.
Saturday had Rob and I off on a "Toronto Nature Lovers" (formally Authenic Canadian Tours) trip. Our afternoon and evening was to be spent in beautiful Prince Edward County. We hadn't been there in a while and we're looking forward to it.

Our first stop of the day was at Terry Culbert's art studio, which is shared with his wife Barbara, as they are both talented artists. We had met Terry before on one of Murray's trips, when Terry lived on Amherst Island. They now run County Studio out of their home. It is a beautiful property, complete with an old barn and we all enjoyed our visit there. 

The barn on Terry's property. Photo by attendee, Rhonda.
 Our second stop was for dinner at a restaurant I had been wanting to try for years! The Waring House is beautiful with historic charm, and so much more than a restaurant. It hosts a spa, lodging, and a pub! I look forward to a return, overnight trip. We enjoyed a delicious meal before heading to the "main event" of the trip.

For a few weeks every Fall, Prince Edward Point Bird Observatory bands migrating Saw-whet Owls. The Saw-whet Owls migrate south every Fall from the northern Boreal forests in search of food. We all know that there are no guarantees when it comes to nature, but we were all hoping to see the adorable little owl.

We arrived shortly after 8pm, and the first net round turned up none. The winds weren't in our favour this night. The second net round an hour later turned up 1, a retrap from 2 nights earlier. This little owl didn't know he was going to be a "rock star" for a few minutes, as everyone was thrilled to see him.

No bigger than a pop can, these little owls are adorable.
The highlight of everyone's day was seeing the Saw-whet Owl.
      If you are ever blessed enough to come across an owl in the wild, please, no flash at night, it momentarily blinds them, and puts them in danger.

Krista looks in wonder at the tiny owl. Photos by attendee, Dominique.
Krista was the lucky one to release the owl, a moment I know she will never forget.
    Rob and I were up way past our bedtime, but it was worth it. You can check out Toronto Nature Lovers on Meetup and Facebook.
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