I've received photographs of the Snowy Owl at Dulles Airport (Loudoun County) today and it is indeed a Snowy Owl. The bird has been seen in a publicly accessible area though it was not there today when I went looking (twice!). Hopefully it is just roosting out of the wind today and will be back tomorrow and/or over the weekend. I also received permission from Airport Operations to post the location, so.....
To reach the area, exit the Dulles Toll Road at the Airport Services exit just past the lake as if you were going to the Marriott Hotel. From the exit, turn right onto Aviation Drive and follow it around a 90 degree left turn. Aviation Drive comes to a T intersection at Propeller Court. If you look to the right, you can see several light poles with two street lights one on each side in the parking lot across Propeller Court. The bird has been seen sitting on one of those light poles just past the Post Office. The best (and safest) viewing is probably from the 3 story public parking garage that is on that corner. You can enter the parking garage to the left just before you reach the T intersection. Go up to the top level and then search the tops of the light poles from there. If you stay in the parking garage for 15 minutes or less there is no charge and you can just put your ticket in exit machine and it will let you leave for free. If you stay longer, then you will have to either pay with a credit card or go into the airport to use the Pay and Go machines that are inside. There was no option to pay with cash when I was there today but perhaps on the weekends they open up a manned booth for that purpose.
Happy owl hunting and please post if you see it!
Susan A. Heath
George Mason University
Environmental Science Department
Secretary, Virginia Avian Records Committee
Keeper, Virginia Comp List at www.virginiabirding.org
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