We were returning from a chilly weekend of sailing to Poulsbo and Port Madison, when Steve spotted an owl on the land side of the Shilshole Breakwatrer, roughly opposite G dock. I thought immediately that it might be a snowy owl but wasn't sure as I had never actually seen one before.
I was focusing my camera to get a better, second picture when a crow started dive-bombing the owl. The owl flew a short distance away and appeared to try to protect itself by hiding behind a rock.
When we tied up in our slip we got out our bird book and identified it as a snowy owl. The blindingly white round head without obvious ears was the giveaway. Later I looked them up on the internet http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Snowy_Owl/id
and learned that the black speckles mean the bird is either a young male, which will lose the black speckled feathers as it ages, or a female.
A year ago the Seattle Times reported that the northwest was having an irruption of snowy owls http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2017100661_snowies27m.html
. The owls were expected to hang around only until March so this must be a return. Looks like the irruption is repeating itself.