Snowy Spotting

The Newport Bridge in all its glory

We crossed the “Pell Bridge” to Newport this afternoon. Actually, nobody in RI ever calls it the Pell bridge. It’s the Newport Bridge to everyone but the map makers – and some poor, confused tourists, I suppose.

It was a clear and beautiful day here on the coast – but cold. Definitely hat,  glove and warmest coat weather. We have been hearing about a snowy owl that’s been hanging out on the rocks at the Sachuest Wildlife Refuge since the holidays.

This is not an unheard of occurrence. When competition for prey in their Arctic home  gets too tough , they’ll “irrupt” or come down to new habitats in search of food. They’ll spend most of the winter here, then fly back way, way up north (think Arctic Circle) to breed.

Birders checking out the owl

We bundled up and hit the trail that winds along the ocean. There were some interesting ducks, including eiders, common goldeneyes and harlequins. Here’s a shot of a male eider on a rock where he is trying to pry off mussels. These are very large ducks that spend winters here every year.

Eider drake and hens foraging on a rock. The drake is black and white.

We finally located the spot where everyone was watching the owl. There was spotting scope there for our viewing pleasure, and it’s a good thing, because the owl was hunkered down among the rocks quite a distance from the shore. I tried my best, but all I could get was a pathetic, little white dot which cannot possibly reflect the total coolness of this bird. Sorry.

On the way back to the car, we noticed that we were being watched by a herd of deer. They were spending a lazy afternoon lying in the grass, catching what was left of the afternoon sun.

Check out these beautiful rocks. People fish from them and sometimes they fall off and drown. They do make wonderful picnic spots, though.

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About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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6 Responses to Snowy Spotting

  1. cj wright says:

    The pics made me feel like I had a grand day out, dirtynailz. Thanks for sharing them.

    Like

  2. HerbDoc says:

    I agree with CJ! I envy your ability to get great pics at anytime;I always leave the camera at home :). BTW the new headers are terrific! I especially like the two lone beach chairs and the one you’re using now.

    Like

    • dirtynailz says:

      Thanks to Auntie Beak, who helped me set up the new theme with changeable headers. I think it makes a difference, and I can be more creative.

      The lone beach chairs were shot on New Year’s day believe it or not. Could be summer, couldn’t it? I am trying to remember to take my camera whenever I go anywhere remotely interesting. It’s not always easy, because the camera is not a tiny little thing. But I do want to take as many original shots as possible for the blog. I am glad you noticed.

      BTW if you’re in the mood, it seems our readers are interested in more soil testing info……

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  3. Wendy says:

    lovely scenes… That’s funny b/c we did also call it the Newport Bridge, but I remembered calling it the Pell Bridge when we first moved to RI. The summer b/4 college, I worked in a little shop called The Lost Sailor in Newport. Long gone i think.

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