[Tweeters] Discovery Park - West Point Birds

Carol Riddell cariddell at mac.com
Sat Jul 30 21:59:11 PDT 2005

Hi Tweets,

I was at West Point again this afternoon.  The congregation of Rhinoceros
Auklets has dispersed.  There were only two or three observed today compared
to 35+ last Saturday.  Other birds were two Spotted Towhees, several Caspian
Terns, Glaucous-winged Gulls, a few Mew Gulls, a couple of double-crested
Cormorants, Crows, one Pigeon Guillemot, a House Finch, House Sparrows and
Rock Pigeons.

I came home this evening to have a neighbor announce around 8 p.m. that an
owl was sitting on the roof of the house next to hers.  She had been
scraping the peak, getting ready to paint, turned around when she heard a
noise, and nearly fell off the ladder looking eye to eye at an adult Barred
Owl.  Several of us set up a scope and watched it perched on the roof for a
good half hour.  It then spread its wings and hopped down the roof toward
the gutters.  When a feisty Eastern Gray Squirrel came over the roof and
started down toward the owl, it finally realized what it was about to
encounter and veered off the roof.  At the same time, the owl turned, saw
the squirrel, and promptly flew across the street into some Douglas firs.
The owl then swooped down to the ground.  A gregarious young cat saw the owl
and started stalking it.  At that point the owl flew back up into another
small stand of Douglas firs.  We grabbed the cat, put it under house arrest
for the night, and left the owl to its evening activities.  This was a first
for the neighborhood and gave us a good 45-minute observation.  About
halfway through our owl watching a Cooper's Hawk shot out from behind the
house where the owl was perched on the roof, crossed the street and headed
north.  It all seemed a bit much to take in at once.  I hope the owl sticks
around.  There's a flock of Rock Pigeons I'd like to introduce it to.

Good birding,

Carol Riddell

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