In Search of Snowy Owl

Here’s a postscript from my Saturday morning at the Sax-Zim Bog Winter Birding Festival:
I left the group around noon, I think, and headed back to the Duluth News Tribune office to write my story and get a couple of chores out of the way. I was back home in the early evening, washing dishes and thinking a hot shower or bath might feel nice, when I got a call from one of the birders I had met that morning.
She was at Canal Park, where she and a bunch of birders were watching a snowy owl on the flag pole in the circle in front of the maritime museum. With the aerial lift bridge and the moon as a backdrop, it was spectacular, she said.
I headed down, but unfortunately by the time I arrived both owl and birders had left. My colleague Andrew Krueger was there, however, and he had gotten a look at the owl on top of the flag pole on the Army Corps of Engineers Building.
I tried again around dusk on Sunday, again to no avail.
Two large groups of ducks were hanging out in the open water near the lift bridge — one group of mallards and one, it turned out, of common goldeneyes. Three birders (easily identified by their spotting scopes) were checking out the goldeneyes. It turned out they had heard there was a Barrow’s goldeneye in the flock, and they were looking for it. I don’t know if they had any luck.
I asked if they had seen the snowy owl, and they said yes, on Saturday, on the roof of the Corps of Engineers Building.
So if you find yourself in Canal Park, remember to look up. You never know what might be up there.

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