While the awesome snowy owl irruption of 2013-2014 has faded from the news, the sightings continue.
I have been able to locate at least one owl most times I have tried to find them near Mercersburg but usually they are too far from the road for good photography.
When I first spotted this snowy before sunrise one recent morning it was sitting in a field some two hundred yards or more from the road. After watching it for a few minutes it took flight, landing on top of a barn vent. While it was not the most "natural" appearing perch at least it was very near the road allowing me to approach closely and shoot out of the car window.
I watched and photographed this owl over about an hours time. During this time the owl kept a sharp lookout over the surrounding countryside, casting its eyes upwards and swiveling its head following passing birds. While watching the owl swivel its head, I was most struck by the fantastic range of motion. A quick visit to Wikipedia revealed that they have an approximate 270 degrees of motion!
From what I have read we can expect the snowies to begin returning to their tundra home later this month or sometime early next. As for myself I am thankful that these amazing birds of the northland chose to venture south making this a very special winter indeed!