At continental breakfast in the morning at Super 8, I meet Scott Meyer and his birding companion. They had not found a Boreal Owl yesterday and were heading out to try again with a possible visit later to Sax Zim. Because the person at the desk had already told someone that they could not print digital files, I asked Scott if we could try to get a paper copy of his Sax Zim map. That was successful. After breakfast and stopping for gas, I headed to Sax Zim. I intended to first try for Great Gray Owl along McDavitt Road. As I headed west on Sax Road, I saw a group of cars stopped on Cranberry Road. I pulled up behind them to inquire what they had found. I asked the last person in the line of cars but what I heard was little jumbled, so I decided to leave and look for Great Gray Owl. I drove up McDavitt and checked all the likely perch locations north of the railroad track. I continued well north of the designed area where the bird was being seen. No luck. I turned around and met a man from Wisconsin at a parking area on the west side of the road, who was looking for his life bird Great Gray Owl. He had information indicating the Great Grey Owl was being seen by walking the tramped snow trail west about 15 minutes off the road. I joined him and we walked back following the previous tramped snow trail to a large cleared area, but we were unsuccessful. We walked back to our cars to warm up. Another vehicle of birders arrived, and we walked back again. One of the ladies knew a tour leader who had texted her this morning early after seeing the Great Gray Owl in the open area. We were again unsuccessful, and she indicated that early morning and later afternoon/evenings are best. We knew that but were hoping for the best anyway. I had seen Great Gray Owls during the day previously at several locations around the US. The man from Wisconsin indicated that he also stopped on Cranberry Road in the morning. The leader had Sharp-tailed Grouse feeding on buds in the bushes at great distance, which the man from Wisconsin was unable to identify. The debate when I stopped was between Ruffed and Sharp-tailed Grouse, but I misheard that. I left McDavitt Road and stopped by the Cranberry Road location on my way to Admiral Road. No grouse were visible from Cranberry. I went to the Admiral Road feeders where I saw Boreal Chickadee and Gray Jay. I met the man from Wisconsin again and later Scott Meyer and his birding friend Ben showed up. Then we all left to go to the Owl Avenue feeders where there are Pine Grosbeaks, Evening Grosbeaks and Hoary Redpolls.
At the Owl Avenue feeders there were Pine Grosbeaks, including one gorgeous pink full breeding male and at least one Hoary Redpoll.
Hoary Redpoll: bottom. More frosty overall and on the back as well as the previously noted field marks. Note the seed in the background of the bill making it look larger than it really is.