Amber and White Screech Owl in a tree

The Bandit, the Owl, and the Osprey

There are lots of awesome animals at Southard’s Pond in Babylon, NY along the pond itself and the trails around it. Bald eagles, snapping turtles, blue herons, foxes, and much more.

This fine Saturday, I got a few pics of some of the true staples and one celebrity in the park. My first encounter was with a big raccoon perched in my wife’s favorite tree. Standing tall it looks like it’s waving it’s arms at you. Right on top was “trash panda extraordinaire” Mr. or Ms. Raccoon just staring down at me, quite aware that they had been noticed in broad daylight. Smile for the camera! 😉

Raccoon perched in a tree looking down

Doing my usual loop, I then came up to one of the true celebrities of the park this year (along with the Bald Eagles). A Screech Owl standing about 10 inches tall. Originally spotted by a good friend, “Owly West” is generally in the same spot and is becoming quite well known by those who frequent the trails. There is an “Owly East” who is a bit smaller and in a more difficult hole to see. I see much more of Owly West as a result. This time in spring is prime time to see the owls since the weather is nice but the leaves haven’t completely hidden them from the trail.

Amber and White Screech Owl in a tree

Then finally on my way out of the park there was an Osprey circling the pond looking for lunch. The Osprey have become much more noticeable in the last 5 years or so both at the lakes and ponds of Long Island and on the south shore beaches early in the morning often flying past me fishing with a nicer catch than mine in their talons. This one did dive down and splash in but came up empty handed. Maybe it’ll be an early dinner instead.

Osprey bird soaring in the sky

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