I have fallen off of the pace I had planned. Just a little, but there are a couple of categories I have not had as many species as I had anticipated by this point. Owls are the main category, as of this morning I had only managed to catch up with two species for the year - Barred and Barn.
After work today, I decided to try to add an owl. Decided may not be the right word, as I have spent many an evening lately unsuccessfully looking for owls. The target for today took me up into the Highlands for a hike I have been on a few times this year, with all previous hikes being nice walks, and not much else. A couple of whistles here and a couple of whistles there did nothing but stir up the local American Robins, though the view was indeed spectacular.
I held out as long as I dared before heading back, and I had no sooner reached the car again than I heard a hollow whistle, then another, then another, coming closer and closer.
After a minute a Northern Pygmy-Owl flew overhead, and I managed to keep eyes on it for about 5 minutes before it disappeared to the south, still calling deep in the trees. Target located! This is a bird I seldom catch up with, but always a treat to see! Even more so to have the privilege of such great, long looks!
With any luck, the rest of the owl clan will be half as obliging as this one was!