This morning brought one of those “top ten” moments in Cape May. Up there with spotting your first Bald Eagle, or seeing dolphins along the beachfront for the first time, or the Eagles Cheerleaders at the Rusty Nail.
Walking the famous Golden Retriever Joy down the promenade at sunrise this morning a ghost whizzed past. But wait I don’t believe in ghosts, so what was that large white object that just flew by? Could it be a Snowy Owl? After it rose again from the Dunes in front of the Marquis de Lafayette hotel it was in hot pursuit of a pair of Mallard style ducks. It was 6:05AM on my watch as dawn was happening.
I Continued down the promenade with a watchful eye, expecting to see the Snowy having duck breast for breakfast. Passing the arcade on my left and the wispy dune grass, past the closed Jackson street beach entrance, I spied him/her/it. Sitting majestically on the ramp fence post, gracefully watching for its next victim. Clearly dawn provides a preferred time to hunt prey. I knew enough to give the Owl a wide amount of space and the deserved respect I felt immediately.
The above picture was the best I could do with an Iphone 4s with the amount of light provided by the pre-storm sunrise. Richard Crossley is right these Snowy Owls will make a birder out of the non-birder.