Burrowing Owl in Ice Plant: Happy Sunday!

Burrowing Owl, San Diego California

“If your eye is generous, your whole being is full of light!” Jesus

Yesterday the San Diego Birding Festival started at noon, and I had a workshop at 12:30, so I slept in, and only went out to the San Diego River Channel and the Western National Wildlife Refuge across from Sea World. It is a good marshy river habitat, though the high banks of the river channel keep you well away from most of the birds. Great for scope views. There have been reports of a Burrowing Owl along this stretch in past years and I am always alert, especially in the area overrun by Ground Squirrels. I did not have to really even look for this Owl, as two other photographers were there already. Such a delight! I have not seen a Burrowing Owl this close since my days in New Mexico 30 years ago, and I can count the number of Burrowing Owl I have ever seen on my fingers without running out of digits.  I wrote a little poem about it for yesterday’s Day Poem.

Burrowing Owl on the bank above
the San Diego River, right by the
Sports Arena Bridge. What at treat!
Sat in a big patch of Ice Plant, a
mound really, at the mouth, obviously
of a Ground Squirrel burrow, the
sun in its bright yellow eyes, turning
its head side to side, and occasionally
looking straight at me. I felt privileged
to be included in its gaze. Privileged!

And of course another word for “privileged” is “blessed”. I felt blessed to see the Burrowing Owl. It is one of the things, the main thing, I love about bird watching. You never know what you will see, if you just go out with your eyes open…and you almost always see something that quickens the pulse and makes you feel more alive. Blessed. It is a part of the generous eye that I really enjoy. “Eye’s wide open” is the way another translator translates it…eyes wide open in wonder and delight. 

And may you go through this Sunday with generous eyes…and I believe God will bless you in what you see. 

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