Barred Owl - Gill, Franklin Co., MA. November 6th, 2012. Panasonic Lumix FZ7.
White-tailed Deer - Gill, Franklin Co., MA. November 6th, 2012. Panasonic Lumix FZ7.
The second plot was about 1/2 a mile from the first, characterized by some fairly dense Eastern Hemlocks close to a stream. After about nine minutes of effort a Northern Saw-whet gave a single 'squeaky' call note but nothing more, and there was no visual.
The third plot was again characterized by dense Eastern Hemlocks, and a place where I had met with success a couple of years previously. After about five minutes of trying a saw-whet gave three rich, muffled 'skew' notes delivered in rapid succession. Once more I waited around hoping for a visual but as the breeze picked up there seemed to be too much movement within the forest to have a realistic chance of seeing a saw-whet. Still, I left feeling extremely pleased with such a high success rate.
Back on October 31st, on the way home from Halloween festivities, I tried a spot on Bascom Road in Gill and had a superb visual of a Northern Saw-whet Owl after about five minutes of effort. This particular bird called once at the beginning of the observation but was pretty silent thereafter. It remained high in the tops and my attempts to get a picture were pretty much disastrous - I'm still trying to work out how to use 'superzoom' cameras at night!
Northern Saw-whet Owl - Bascom Road, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. October 31st, 2012. Horrendous shot I know, but the bird is just taking off with the flash highlighting the leading edge of the right wing, the underside of the left wing, the underside of the body and the reflection of the left eye. The field views were, of course, much better. Panasonic Lumix FZ7. Distant Barred Owls were calling throughout this observation and as I drove away a Barred Owl flew low over Bascom Road.
Elsewhere, I saw a Barred Owl at dawn on North Cross Road, Gill on November 2nd and two were calling close our house on Main Road, Gill, also November 2nd. On November 3rd, I heard two Barred Owls calling at Goodell Street in Belchertown at about 4:45am.
In summary, I've never experienced such a consistently good, productive period for owls in the Pioneer Valley since moving here in 2005. There's still plenty of opportunity to go out and see more before the really had weather arrives.