By Jerry Asling
Fortunately Grey-Bruce opened up enough for us to have this outing at Pearl Lake. We had visited this area in 2010 and were successful so hopes were high. Sixteen people registered so I decided to break the group in half because of limited parking. I decided to take one half on the Friday night since John Reaume was joining me that night for a scouting trip.
Pearl Lake road is a private dirt road past bush and fields with good habitat for Screech Owls and Great Horned Owls. We parked a short way in and walked to an area with hardwood bush on one side and pine trees on the other. John played his recording and was immediately answered by a Screech Owl at the far end of the bush. A few more calls brought the owl to us, landing overhead in a maple tree. Another owl was heard calling at the same time. The owl near us called softly for a while, then gave up when no female appeared and flew away.
From there, we hike about a kilometer to the lake where we had been successful before. A recorded call brought another owl to greet us. He landed back of the cedar trees out of sight but called to us in hopes of finding a mate. We moved on to the north end of the lake and played the recording again but had no luck for Screech Owls. Since we were near a hardwood bush and no Screech Owl was near, John tried calling for a Great-horned Owl with no luck. When we returned to our vehicles, John tried the Great-horned Owl again but still no luck.
The Saturday night outing was much the same result as on Friday night with 2 owls sighted. Both nights were cloudy with some moonlight getting through making for a pleasant evening stroll with good company.