I was out for my morning ride yesterday. There is a group of us that ride our cycles first thing in the morning, leaving our meeting place around 5:30 and riding down the Atlantic coast as the sun comes over the horizon. Most of the other guys out there realize that I have another side - the dark falconer side of me- and they will sometimes ask me bird related questions, or we'll talk about different aspects of hunting.
Yesterday, early in the ride, before the sun peeked above the Atlantic, and the skidding clouds were awash in brilliant oranges, a large black silhouette passed over our heads on its way from the coast. None of these pictures are mine - they are only to give you a better visual.
The guys all looked to me to see what it was. Definitely an owl, most likely a barred, maybe a great horned. I wasn't quite close enough to see, and we were moving along at about 20 miles an hour, so I couldn't stop to stare.
Here's the question. Why would either of those owls be hunting on the beach overnight? Owls wouldn't eat sand crabs would they? Would there be other prey overnight on the beach? I've never seen rats or mice there. What else could it be? Any ideas?