Monday, January 20, 2014
Smith's Point Snowy
This afternoon my wife and I took advantage of the somewhat decent weather (compared to what is coming anyway) and the holiday and went for a walk to the "new" old inlet. This breach was created when Superstorm Sandy broke through a narrow part of the barrier island and has remained ever since due to its location within the National Seashore meaning the federal government would have to OK the closure. We had hoped to find some fox which another photographer had reported seeing in the area (I would really love to get photos of them in their winter coats) but we kept an eye out for Snowy Owls given how frequently they have been found this winter.
We stopped to take a look at an area which had been flattened by the waves - rolling hummocks of grass and sand marked the landscape with no large vantage points. I started to scan the area and thought to myself that these birds blend in so well I would probably step on one or spook it by mistake. Not long after having that thought my wife exclaimed she had found one (not terribly far from where I was walking). The bird was next to a small shrub and flushed easily - taking a very short flight to a nearby hummock that actually provided better views. It was there we got some nice photos of the bird with the surrounding landscape. After leaving the bird we walked to the breach and scanned the other side and the small islands, finding nothing but gulls. On our return walk the Snowy Owl had moved once again this time quite a ways up the beach - perched in a similar location and blending in beautifully.
Aside from the owl - there were of course plenty of deer (in the parking lot anyway) as is typical with fire island beaches. No other birds of note and unfortunately - no fox, but I'm happy seeing/photographing the 8th Snowy Owl of the year. Before this winter I had seen a snowy owl on two separate occasions, so this season has been a smashing success.
Posted by LeOrmand at 8:48 PM