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Thursday, December 26, 2013

A taste of the Arctic

A few more pictures of winter in New England before we head back to California.

Even though I had seen Snowy Owls earlier in the week, Eric wasn't with us that day.  So we went back to Duxbury Beach for a quick look and were lucky to find two owls.  This was one of our favorite views today:

We also spotted this Snow Bunting feeding on seeds along the edge of the road:

And then we saw a larger flock of Snow Buntings foraging in the drift line between the salt marsh and a small sand dune.  It was impressive to see how well the colors of the Snow Buntings matched the sand and the vegetation white, grays, browns, and rust-colored tones.

Now that you've seen one isolated Snow Bunting, how many individuals can you find in the picture below?  (Warning: The answer is below the image.)

There are eight Snow Buntings in the picture above.  Two on the left, two in the center, and four on the right. 

And now that you're warmed up, here's a harder one.  How many Snow Buntings can you find in the next picture?  (Click on the picture to enlarge it.)

There are fourteen Snow Buntings in the picture above.  From left to right: one in the upper left, then a fairly tight cluster of seven, two just to the right of center (one above the other), a group of three at the upper right, and one in the lower right.

Although it would be fun to see a Snowy Owl or Snow Buntings on Bodega Head, I hope you've enjoyed this brief interlude featuring two beautiful species from the Arctic!

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