The loud chorus of tiny Spring Peepers punctuated the night air, proclaiming their presence to potential mates with a shrill peep, peep, peep. Standing close by as we waited on a back road for owls to return our calls, we also took in the duck-like quacking of wood frogs and rasping trill of chorus frogs, sounding much like fingers across a comb.
And yes, we did hear owls, the primary intent of the excursion. The strong winds were initially cause for concern, but success did eventually come our way as outing leader Michael Runtz called out to Saw-whets and Barred Owls at several stops, alternating between their own respective calls and “mobbing”sounds to draw them in.
Although they mostly kept their distance, hearing the distinctive returning calls of both types of owls was still thrilling, especially for those of us who hadn’t experienced this before. It was the same for the yips and howls of coyotes carried to us in the darkness.
Earlier on, before the light disappeared, we watched and listened to woodcocks, silhouetted in the sky and high trees at the edge of a woodland. Some of the best moments were spent in awed silence as we drank in the display of northern lights and star formations in the clear sky. Shooting stars added further magic.
The owl prowl was definitely a memorable outing for the 25 or so club members that participated.