Christmas has come and gone this year, and it was a great one. Not only is Walter now old enough to realize that something special was going on, but for the first time in about a decade, I did not have any travel plans except to go across town to the in-laws to devour the traditional German raisin bread (Stollen? Stahllen? Stellin? The pronunciation is up for debate among the clan).
It’s better to give than to receive, I know, but since this is a birding blog and I am the only birder here, I would like to let you all know about the cool stuff that came my way on Christmas this year. I would be remiss if I did not mention the fancy dinner out for Jaime and me provided by my sister, the homemade oriole feeder forged by my uncle-in-law, and the newest record by my favorite band provided by my beautiful wife, all of which are great. But again considering the subject matter of this blog, I feel obligated to mention that a pretty great Christmas present for any birder is a sighting of a Snowy Owl approximately five miles away from their house. And that is exactly what I got.
I would like to give even more props to my aforementioned beautiful (and smart, funny, good-at-baking, etc) wife for understanding this enough to let me flee the house alone in the middle of Christmas afternoon to go and chase this bird. The year 2014 was supposed to be about me finding my own birds (remember the Strategic Year? Me neither), but I was not about to pass this up. As an added bonus, it is located right in the middle of my upcoming Christmas Bird Count territory on January 3rd. I hope it sticks around until then.
The appearance of this owl comes just one week after my previous post griping about not having it on my county list yet. So, thank you birding gods! And if you are still listening, I still don’t have my own damn county Eskimo Curlew yet.