While most of the Boreal Owl action this winter has been along the North Shore, the whole irruption seemed to start up in Sax-Zim with Chad Hein’s January 10th Boreal along CR52/Arkola.
Then a few weeks later, Don Blecha, an out-of-state birder photographed one hunting in the daytime along Stone Lake Road.
Feb 16— The “Festival Bird”…a Boreal Owl is found just north of the Admiral Road feeders and MANY folks get their Lifer Boreal. Over 100 people saw this bird.
Feb 21— CR7 about half mile south of Sax Rd. Photo above. See details below.
Feb 26— Florida birders, Stephen Nesbitt and John Murphy, find an actively hunting bird at dawn on Watsula Road…a road better known for Sharp-tailed Grouse and magpies than boreal species!
March 2— Chris West discovers a basking Boreal along CR52/Arkola about a mile east of Owl Avenue.
March 2— Another bird found on Cranberry Rd north of Sax Road (Frank Nicoletti).
March 3— Gregg Severson finds a bird hunting at dusk along CR52/Arkola where it crosses the Whiteface River.
The above bird is one I (Sparky) found while driving 70mph along CR7 to see a Northern Hawk Owl up on Stone Lake Road. While whizzing past, I thought I noticed an odd lump/nest in the willows. My gut feeling was that it was an owl. We turned around and sure enough, a basking Boreal.
That’s a total of 8 Boreal Owls seen in the Sax-Zim Bog this winter. The big question is, will any stay and breed?? Stay tuned.