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.
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.
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.