Date: 3/1/17 4:30 pm From: Steve Bennett <sbennett999...> Subject: [NHBirds] Newport GREAT GRAY OWL Upate, 7PM Weds
A little before 10AM this morning, Susan Wrisley, Jenna Pettipas & I were able to find the Great Gray Owl that was recently reported in Newport, NH. From 10AM until 4PM it pretty much sat in a tree and slept, occasionally stretching and yawning. Shortly after 4 o'clock it perked up and immediately began hunting the large field abutting the rail trail. It did several short flights out over the field and eventually came back with a big black rodent in its talons which it promptly ate. A small group of us watched it hunt for another hour as it worked its way North along the tree line at the edge of the field.
As darkness set in, it was last seen flying North across the fields towards the airport as I could see the large orange windsock in the background.
The highlight of the day, though, was when the bird flew across the field and landed at the feet of nature writer & photographer Lloyd Alexander, so close that Lloyd could have reached down and patted the bird on the head.
Also, thanks to Dylan Jackson for his local knowledge advise to Susan & Jenna on where to look for the bird, and to Marcel Ledoux for spending a few early morning hours with me scouring the fields of Newport. Fortunately Marcel was able to come back later and get some amazing flight shots, as he always does due to his keen sense of readiness & preparedness.
Also, thanks to Steve Mirick & Becky Suamola for getting the word out quickly. A lot of people were able to get on the bird today, a lifer for many and a state lifer for a lot of us, as well.