Date: 1/22/20 9:37 pm
From: William Pelletier via Groups.Io <wrpelletier=<>
Subject: [southbaybirds] Short-eared Owl at Charelston Slough
I decided to have a try at Short-eared Owl again today, trying PA Baylands for the first time in a while. We’d recently tried Palm Ave, Marsh Rd and San Francisquito Creek from Geng Rd. I saw that Mike Mammoser reported the bird and he said that the bird was closer to the Byxbee side.
When I got up to the over-look the sun was shining, the breeze was gentle and it was 65F which felt like summer compared to recent conditions. I ran into Tom Cho and we chatted as we scanned for the elusive Short-eared Owl. After quite some time, Tom decided to split. The temps were dropping as it got dark and the wind picked up considerably.
At 5:38pm I detected the SHORT-EARED OWL over by Charleston Slough. I felt a surge of excitement and joy as it flew in a floppy, moth-like way back and forth low over the marsh, an extreme distance away. I immediately called Tom, who returned at a run. Before Tom arrived (panting) I watched the Owl plunge into the marsh and emerge with its prey. It only flew a short distance before it disappeared into the reeds to feed. 
Tom arrived a couple minutes later and I was worried that the bird might feed into darkness beyond visibility. A minute later the bird was back in the air and flying toward us. In the end, it came over to the channel right in front of us for terrific views. I am super thrilled to have experienced this bird again. You’ve got to love owls that like to come out when it’s still a bit light! Northern Pygmy and Burrowing Owls fit that bill as well.
Good birding,Bill P

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