Saturday, December 28, 2013

Snowy Owls and Seals

This morning my wife and I went to Cupsogue to see the seals that congregate there and typically haul out on a sand bar which appears at low tide.  For some reason - none of the seals were hauled out this morning despite the presence of a nice sandy strip of land.  However, several seals were having fun "bottling" (first image below) in which their heads are out of the water while the rest of their body remains submerged.  This is one of the ways harbor seals sleep (when not lounging on the beach or rocks).  It appeared that seals would let the current carry them from east to west and once they got near the inlet, they would swim underwater back through the current to be carried again.  Why those chose this method instead of just lounging on the beach is beside me - but it was much easier to photograph them as the sandbar is about 100 yards away and the seals in the water were only 50 yards away.

While photographing these curious creatures, my wife thought she spotted a Snowy owl way down the beach so she went to investigate.  Her instincts were correct and I was able to photograph the bird - additionally some friends of ours and their small children who had never seen a Snowy before were able to get great looks at it.  We took a trip down Dune Road afterwards and noticed nothing - except another Snowy Owl but it wasn't in a position that lent itself to photography, so we moved on.

If you are interested in learning more about the wildlife of Long Island, their habitats and the seasonal visitors the island gets, check out this book by John Turner which features some of my photography:

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