Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 1/2/16

~Short-eared Owl at Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge, 1/2/16.~
~Short-eared Owl at Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge, 1/2/16.~

To say the meteorologists got it wrong would be an understatement. With clear, sunny skies in the forecast, Kyle Dudgeon and I headed out to the Shawangunk Grasslands National Wildlife Refuge in hopes of getting some good Northern Harrier and Short-eared Owl photos. We arrived early enough to claim one of the four photo blinds at the refuge, but alas, the heavy cloud cover refused to clear. We approximated 6 Northern Harriers were present at the refuge; we tried for the majority of the day to get some decent photos but no harriers came close enough for any decent shots. Fortunately, it was just barely after 3:00 that the Short-eared Owls picked up. And, although they never came very close, they spent enough time around our blind to get some decent (if noisy) shots and they were as entertaining as ever. Another highlight of the day was 3 large skeins of Snow Geese which flew over, heading south.

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~SEOW at the Grasslands on 1/2/16.~
~Short-eared Owl at the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 1/2/16.~
~Short-eared Owl at the Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 1/2/16.~
~A SEOW dives for prey, Shawangunk Grasslands, NWR 1/2/16.~
~A SEOW dives for prey, Shawangunk Grasslands, NWR 1/2/16.~
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~A high flying Short-eared Owl passes over the photo blind at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 1/2/16.~
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~I struggled to get Northern Harrier photos today at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 1/2/16.~
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~SEOW cruising the Grasslands, 1/2/16.~
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~A cropped shot of one of the skeins of Snow Geese that passed over today at Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 1/2/16.~

10 thoughts on “Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, 1/2/16”

    1. Thanks Joe, I was happy with them all things considered, and really it was just awesome to see them. As Kyle and I were walking back to the parking lot, I turned to him and commented about how awesome it is to be walking in grasslands with owls flying overhead. Matt

  1. I wish I can see the SEOWs and take those “noisy” pictures. Any day is a good day to see the SEOWs. It is still early in the season. 🙂 And snow geese too? It was a good day. 🙂

    1. I can’t agree more, any day is a good day if you have SEOWs! They actually put on quite a show, so much fun to watch. The Snow Geese were a bonus. Matt

    1. Thanks Jeff. My best guess is 4-6 Shorties there right now. We had 4 near the south blind but I got a report of 2 more that spent their time by Galeville park, I’m thinking they must be additional birds. Matt

  2. Nice shots, Matt.

    It is frustrating to have cloudy days when you want to shoot, but they are nice anyway. Hopefully I will be able to get out at the end of the week. It is beautiful today and I’m “On Call” yuck!!

    Wilma

    1. It’s always tough to get the right timing – no other commitments and some nice light for the photos. Good luck getting out later this week. Matt

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