There is always something to see out there in the cold if you bother to bundle up and look. With the many sightings of Snowy Owl that others in the area have had, I’ve been driving the country roads, keeping my eyes peeled for white humps in white fields, turning up only a few plastic bags in trees. But I did come across a Northern Shrike which is a wonderful find, Snow Buntings, and Horned Larks. The Northern Harriers are patrolling the fields now, and someday if I get lucky (and persistent,) I will find the Short-eared Owls and the occasional Rough-legged Hawk. None of the pictures I got today are worth putting on the wall, except maybe the starlings, unfortunately, but I still had a good time.
The female Northern Harrier is dark brown above, darkly streaked below. The white rump patch above the long tail is diagnostic.
Snow buntings look so much whiter when they’re not in the snow!
Horned larks eating the weed seeds in the field. You can barely make out the “horns” on the bird in front. They’re not always visible.