Date: 11/14/17 6:47 pm From: Floyd, Chris <chrisf...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Short-eared Owls (3-5) at Cumberland Farms, 11/14
3 minimum; more likely 5. First spotted at 4:32 PM several hundred yards to southeast; identifiable only through Leica scope - view good enough to see dark carpal marks. No birds up that I could see on first scan at 4:30. At 4:36 two flew right at me and just 20' over my head at manure pit dumping ramp, making two passes, giving great view! Likely different birds from those first seen at distance.
Caution: I had driven (very carefully through puddles) most of the way in to manure pit area and was stopped by Mass Environmental Police as I drove out in the dark and quoted a possible $500 fine for entering private property without permission. He asked that I park instead just at entrance (River Street) in future. However, officer seemed mainly interested in (illegal?) hunting. Asked me if I had seen any hunters. Yes, two in two cars, who were leaving about time I was arriving.
First time I've had any such permission issue raised over about 40 years of birding here, typically 1-3 times a year.