There are some birds which are always the stuff of dreams especially for someone from the Indian subcontinent. Ever since I saw a documentary during school days, starring a Snowy Owl, I always wanted to see one in flesh, or should I say in feathers. It was the number ONE target species for me during my first ever North American trip. I had been following eBird reports of Snowy Owl for the last one month. With some serious homework of past sightings both from this and last winter, I sort of knew where to look for the bird. In the days leading up to the travel, I began pestering Mike for as many details as he could give me about the bird. I landed up on US soil on 14 December and headed straight to Long Island the very next day (this time I dragged not only Vishnupriya but also her cousins, Vidya, Rajesh, Harini, and Deep, enticing them with the incentive of sighting a Hedwig). Unfortunately and more frustratingly some photographers were already there and had flushed the Owl even before we could reach the spot. Thankfully we got in touch with a friend of Mike’s who was co-incidently birding in the same area. Bob was incredibly generous with information and also took us around the place. Meanwhile, Brant Goose, Black Ducks, Common Eiders, Surf, White-winged and Black Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Red-throated and Common Loons, and Harbour Seals kept us entertained while we kept scanning for Snowy Owl. So, after 5 hours (more than 10 kms of walk) and intense search (which included lots of owl-shaped white objects) we were about to give up on the bird and turn back. Just then I spotted one white blob which was surely a bird. and 'surprise surprise' it turned out to be a Snowy Owl. We then spent about 2 hours with the bird. It behaved just like all other owls do - bobbed its head up and down, flew around a couple of times to land on a fence, sign post or sand dune. Finally, after watching the bird to our heart's content, we left being fully sated with the day’s birding.
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