Hiding in plane sight.

It was a picture-perfect morning in Estabrook, but I had to go to school today, and thank goodness I did. Look who I saw along the way in Cambridge Woods.

That little cutie, ladies and gentlemen, is an eastern screech-owl (Megascops asio), and here’s a close-up.

As I rode by bike to campus this morning, a guy, who’s name I didn’t catch, was taking a bunch of pictures of it, and I did my best to do the same with my phone. On my way home, I couldn’t believe my luck to find it was still there, so I hustled home to get my real camera. Miracle of miracles, it was still there on my 3rd visit.

I was surprised by how small it was. The fine folks at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology describe it as “an owl no bigger than a pint glass”. Now that I know what to look for, you can bet I’ll be scouring our trees in Estabrook with renewed vigor.

Meanwhile, back in the park, here are a few images that I couldn’t fit in yesterday’s report. A herring gull decided it was bath day, no matter the weather.

It splashed under the water a few times.

Then hopped up onto the ice.

Shook itself off just as a dog would.

And that’s it. All done. Clean as a whistle.

Tomorrow morning, I expect to resume our regularly schedule program.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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