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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Disappointment and Elation - on 10th November, 2012

It was seeming like forever since I'd seen and photographed a Little Owl, other than the one I'd seen in Morocco. In fact I'd seen very few owls since Morocco (nearly a month ago), apart from on 30th October when a visit to five sites produced one owl at each site (5 out of 5 ain't bad!), but no images worth publishing. I'd also managed to see an owl on my local patch (Site No.12) on November 6th - but that was it.

I have been feeling a little demotivated of late, so yesterday afternoon I took myself off for a walk round my local patch. I pulled up outside my Little Owl Site No.02. No owl was visible, but I did see a couple of Grey Partridge in the next field.

It was time to visit some areas on my patch that I've not been to in a long time as, for much of the year, they are to all intents and purposes, out of bounds. As I departed, I was disappointed to see that the barn that the owls reside in at Site No.02 had been broken into (the farmer has now been alerted to this). I have not seen the owls here during my last few visits, so I am concerned!

I had a long and pleasant walk, but saw little other than a Buzzard and a Hare, and had just started making my way back as it was 16:00 and the light was failing fast. I'd been keeping my eye open for Jack Snipe (didn't find any) when I suddenly noticed a familiar shape in a tree only about 15 yards (metres) away - Little Owl!! It didn't stay long after it saw that I'd spotted it, but I did manage to get a just about usable image in the poor light. 

Little Owl - my new Site No.30
This location was a good 20 minutes walk from my nearest LO site so, in normal circumstances, I would have no hesitation in calling it my new LO Site No.30. However, it does look suspiciously like one of my owls from Site No.02 so I'm concerned that it might be an owl displaced from that location by the intrusion. It could just be that it's one of the birds previously fledged from Site No.02. I shall hold fire until I can check more fully on Site No.02. If the birds are found to be still resident there, and I get a repeat sighting at this new location, I've got a new site.

UPDATE: I've now determined that both birds are still present at my LO Site No.02, and I've positively identified the nest hole at this other site - so it's LO Site No.30!

8 comments:

  1. I really hope you have found a new site as it is great for the populations to grow and spread out. From Findlay

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    1. Thank you Findlay. I intend to give updates on this through this blog. Fingers crossed!

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  2. My money is on a new owl location mate, come on in site No 30!

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  3. Fingers crossed Richard,thiers always hope.
    Nice shot.
    John.

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  4. A lovely post as ever. I just wanted to say a big thank you for all the support you have shown to Findlay. He has alreay asked to put branches near the feeders :)

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    1. Thank you Heather. Findlay is a truly remarkable young man, and I am full of admiration for the support his family gives him.

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