Earlier this week I visited a friend who lives up in the Skagit Valley and she took me to some of her favorite winter spots for observing birds. We saw American kestrels, short-eared owls, Northern harriers, swans and snow geese and lots of bald eagles, both mature and juvenile. The sun was beautiful and I took many photos, though they could not do justice to an an owl in flight, or a flock of snow geese in flight high above glimmering in the angled light like a necklace of diamonds. One of the best things about winter in the northern latitudes is that the light is beautiful at all times of day! The photo shows a short-eared owl hunting by day, which surprised me the first time I saw it a couple of years ago. Perched in a tree they do not look very large at all, but their wing span is very impressive in flight.