Yesterday afternoon, I managed to get this one, blurry photo of a barred owl down in the hollow before it flew. It was first spotted by Steve this past Saturday, and has been seen a couple times since, always within a few hundred feet of the halfway point between the Juniata River and the end of the driveway at the houses. Perhaps not coincidentally, this is also where the lower hollow, with its steep stream banks and hemlocks, gives way to the more open and deciduous upper hollow.
Barred owls are uncommon visitors here on the mountain. The last one we know about appeared on the 2006 Christmas Bird Count, also down in the hollow, though a little higher above the road. This relative scarcity may be due to the fact that we have so few hemlocks. If so, we may see even fewer barred owls in the future: the hemlock woolly adelgid damage is now conspicuous on many of our trees.