[Ontbirds]snowy owl and townsend's solitaire in North Middlesex

Pete Read read4 at execulink.com
Sun Mar 6 08:17:14 EST 2005

Hi there,
As a further post to yesterday's, I did track down a couple of people who
went out yesterday, Saturday.
As of about 9 am yesterday, both birds were being seen, but not regularly.
The Townshend's Solitaire was seen along Fossil road, almost to a red metal
gate. It frequents the low juniper that is along the side of the road, but
not everyone who went saw it. It has become a bit shy, no doubt from the
number of pedestrians now coming down its rather remote bit of road. Be
patient. As I noted from a post yesterday, it was also seen near 11 am, next
to the stick and the words in the snow (hopefully not in yellow).

The snowy owl, while still in the same place, is much more of a challenge.
It is seen very irregularly. Only those with a keen eye, much luck and
imagination have seen it. I don't mean that kind of imagination, I mean can
figure out which snowpile the owl might be hiding behind. Yesterday, it was
seen around 10, as it flew across Seed road, from the gully side to the
west. When it landed, it landed way across the field in the hawthorns, but
at the base of one, in the shade, becoming quite camouflaged. Its habits
make it a hard one to find. Feeling lucky? And as the snow disappears, maybe
it will stand out more against the background.  
In the words of Dean Ware..."THE SNOW MUST GO !" (our new spring chant)

Remember that at or near the intersection of Seed and Cuddy, there are
several Short-eared Owls that come out at dusk to range the fields. I have
seen them during the day occasionally also.


Townshend's Solitaire...
Go west on highway 402, past Strathroy turnoffs, to county road 6 turnoff,
exit #56, Kerwood Road. Go north on this road to County Road 12, Townshend's
Line (what a huge coincidence, eh). Turn west, left, and continue on
Townshend's Line, about 3 roads, to Sylvan Road. Turn north, right, and this
is the little hamlet of Hungry Hollow. Continue to the bridge, and park on
Sylvan just over the bridge. Fossil Road, unmaintained in the winter, is on
the west side of the road, and parallels the river on the north riverbank.
It is down that side, where Sue and I saw the bird, about 200 m along, in
the large patch of juniper. 
Remember...Pete Chapman originally saw it on the south side of the river,
along Hungry Hollow Road, which parallels the river on the south side, and
he saw it just west of the intersection with Sylvan, so look there if it is
not on Fossil. 
So both sides of the river, are possible for this bird.

Snowy Owl...
This bird was on Seed Road. We were returning home following Townshend's
Line, County Road 12, eastward from Hungry Hollow. The last road before the
intersection of Townshend and highway 81, is Seed Road. Heading south from
the intersection of Seed and Townshend, look for the owl on either side, in
the stretch just before Cuddy Road. The exact spot along Seed where we saw
it was where a gully system is on the east side of the road, lined with
small trees and shrubs. It then flew across to the west side, all the way
out to the hawthorns, well across the field.
If coming from London, use highway 22(Egremont?). Seed is about 3 roads west
of highway 81 intersection. Go north one intersection from 22 on Seed, to
Cuddy, and after continuing through the intersection look on either side of
the road. 

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