Drive-by coastal bird watching


Owl watchers along Route 1A/ Ocean Blvd in Rye just north of Rye Harbor, yesterday in the late morning. On my way to walk the dog I pulled over, rolled down my window and snapped a few pics too.


Snowy Owl on a rooftop, patiently (sleepily) enduring the paparazzi.

I read on the NH bird list later that there was also a snowy owl a very short distance away on the restroom roof in Rye Harbor State Park, aka Ragged Neck.


In the neighboring marsh, the tide was high and a male Common Eider was close enough for a few decent photos.


Very cool looking duck!

A colorful duck of the northern seacoasts, the Common Eider is the largest duck in the Northern Hemisphere. The male’s bright white, black, and green plumage contrasts markedly with the female’s camouflaging dull striped brown.


Their food is “aquatic invertebrates, especially mollusks, crustaceans, and sea urchins.” They dive to the sea floor to take their prey.


Also spotted fishing in the marsh, a Common Loon molting from winter to summer plumage. Sign of spring!

Yesterday was very warm for March in the New Hampshire Seacoast, with temps around 65, bright sun and a southwest wind. So good.


A visit from Santa Owl

snowy owl

A Visit from Santa Owl
By Amy Kane, with apologies to Clement C. Moore

Twas a few weeks before Christmas when along the coast
Mice quaked in fear when they saw the white ghost
A fearsome large owl from the snow-covered north
From the vast frozen tundra took wing and flew forth
The birders were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of rare birds danced in their heads
When they read the reports next day, oh my
They sprang to their Subarus and drove east to Rye
Then in a twinkling they set up tripods and scopes
Spotted Bubo scandiacus, fulfilling their hopes!

snowy owl rye
His eyes how they winked, his feathers how fluffed
Having recently eaten he was looking quite stuffed
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old raptor
With his majestic beauty he was the humans’ captor
It was cold, it was bitter, and the wind it was blowy
But now birders looked forward to a winter quite snowy
Over dunes, rocks and marsh, if you see white wings prowl
It’s a rare gift from the north, our Christmastide owl.

Flickr photo album: Another two owl day