It was an amazing sight. Yes, amazing! This was the first time I had ever seen a wild Barn Owl having seen them several times either in zoos or captive bird educational programs. To see a wild one is truly amazing. Did I say 'amazing' again? We watched it key in on something as it dove with wings cocked back and legs extended forward. Whatever it caught, it hunkered down into the grasses to eat.
Taking the oceanside circuit, Sophie and I walked nearly 1.5 miles stopping off here and there to enjoy the view and wildlife. We saw several deer in the field, songbirds, and ducks like Common Eiders, Harlequin Ducks and Buffleheads, and enjoyed the whistling sounds of the Black Scoters and a grey seal basking out on the rocks. This seal was so much fun to watch as he put on quite a show for a photographer that was down on the rocks taking his picture. It was almost as if he was enjoying his 'fifteen minutes of fame.' On our return to the parking area, there were two Barn Owls working the area. We could only assume it a pair as markings on each bird seemed consistent with the gender differences noted for the species.
Sachuest is all about the wildlife so if you plan to visit, please make sure you read the rules regarding visiting there as they do not allow many activities that would cause harm or interference to wildlife.
I must again thank Sophie Zyla for a fantastic and spontaneous trip to two wonderful new locations as I look forward to again visiting them again. All in all, I logged three new life species for my list and now have two more locations to add to my 'to go to again' list.
Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge http://www.fws.gov/refuge/sachuest_point/
Friends of Harkness Memorial State Park http://www.harkness.org/
DEEP website http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2716&q=325214&depNav_GID=1650