Hooper’s Island, MD.
I had pretty good directions to the Snowy Owl site the other day, and parked a couple of hundred yards short of the spot.
As I walked along the roadside, a school bus puled up alongside and the woman driver opened the door and asked, “Have you seen the Snow Owl yet”?
“No”, I said, and she wished me luck and drove off. All this at 7:00 AM.
There was a pickup parked near the spot, and I walked up to it, hoping to get some insight, and saw the owl about the same time. He was perched a hundred or so yards away on a small tree near the water. Then I met Ray.
Ray must be about 60. He looks more like a banker than the waterman he is. He was dressed neatly (Much neater than me) and had a neatly trimmed beard. He then proceeded to detail every move the bird had made for the last two weeks or more.
Ray is enamored of this owl. He pointed out each tree and piece of ground the bird occupied, listed his schedule and told of the other birders he’d met, and their reactions. I was able to give him some insight to the life and behavior of Snowy owls, and he was eager for every detail, including the recorded songs.
I’ve watched birds and fished for a very long time, and I know that connecting to nature is a large part of the attraction. Watching and listening to Roy’s animated story-telling reminded me of how amazing the whole experience can be, and was as rewarding as finding the owl at all.