A rare sight

2008-11-07 17:11:59.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer

As far as the weather is concerned, shift change this past Wednesday was extremely uneventful for this time of year. With temperatures in the low 40’s and the summit in the clear, we set off from the base of the Auto Road with both the truck and the van and no plans of putting chains on for the entire trip up. It turned out that there were only a couple spots on the road that had any significant amount of snow left, and those were easily taken care of by the plow on the truck.

However, there was one thing (mostly) unrelated to the weather that we saw on our trip up the Auto Road that was of note. Just above the 6 mile mark on the Auto Road, Ken (who was in the lead driving the truck) suddenly came to a stop. It took those of us in the van a minute to figure out why he had done this; Ryan spotted a white bird flying around just off the Great Gulf side of the road. After a few more minutes of trying to figure out what it was, Ken hopped out of the truck and came to inform us that it was a Snowy Owl. This was certainly the first time that I had seen one, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a rare event since I have only been working on this mountain for a relatively short amount of time. BUT, when you hear Ken Rancourt, who has worked on this mountain in one way or another for almost 30 years, say that he has never seen one that high on the mountain, that’s when you know it’s a rare occurrence.

Unfortunately, none of us were able to capture pictures of the owl. We tried, but every time we got in a position to get some sort of photo, it would fly off. Eventually it took off in the direction of Huntington Ravine and we were not able to spot it again.

 

Brian Clark,  Observer

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