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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Back to Owls - on 6th & 7th March, 2011

Having been laid up with 'man flu' since the day after my owling marathon of 24th February, and not feeling like going out until this week - it would have been pointless anyway as my coughing and wheezing has been frightening humans, so the birds would have fled before I got within a mile - I eventually had a short excursion on Sunday, and popped out to my latest Little Owl site - No.17. When I found, and photographed, the birds in February, I was sitting in my car. This time I took my hide and waited - but not for very long. One bird came out and flew straight to the roof of a nearby outbuilding. However, it didn't stay long, and as the light was difficult I didn't get very good results.

Little Owl - my Site No. 17

After only a few minutes the second bird emerged and also landed on this roof, but didn't even wait long enough for me to swing the camera round to it. After that, the birds appeared a few times, on posts and in a small tree, and I lost track of which bird was which!

Little Owl (2nd bird - I think!?) - my Site No.17

Little Owl (not sure which one!) - my Site No.17

I didn't stay out too long on this first excursion as I'd promised to be back at tea time. However, encouraged by not feeling too bad after the outing, and by a good weather forecast for the following day (Monday), I decided a day out was in order.

The objective of the day was to find a new owl site. To cut a long story short, I didn't succeed in this, but I did find several sites with good potential with pellet evidence, or eyewitness confirmation, to support my suspicions. These will be followed up over the next few weeks. However, as my travels took me past the access point for my LO Site No.08 on the Staunton Harold estate, I thought I'd have a walk to see if I could improve on the images from my February sightings here. Although I only found one bird, I was lucky that it was the confiding one. The following images were taken on foot without disturbing the bird from its perch. I even found myself talking to the bird - must be going nuts! I swear that the bird is looking at me with sympathy in the second image!!!

Little Owl - my Site No.08

I had intended to stay out until around 7 p.m., but by 5 p.m. I realised that I was feeling somewhat ropey so headed for home - quite pleased with the day. I met some very friendly and helpful people in my travels - one lady, who declared that she had a passion for Barn Owls, asked me if I knew what the most common owl was. I said that I believed that the most numerous was the Tawny Owl. She said "no - it's the Teat". It wasn't until I saw the twinkle in her eye that the penny dropped - Teat Owl - Tea-towel.


  1. Nice post Richard, some cracking images!

  2. Thank you Paul. I'm realising, however, that it's about time that I tried setting myself up for some action shots - I'm inspired by your calendar!!

  3. Magic Bird,stunning Images.

  4. Thank you, John. I just love these birds - they seem to have such interesting characters!


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