It seems like a long while since I posted anything about the Little Owls that I monitor, so here goes!
Readers of my blog might remember that I was concerned about my LO Site No.02 after a break-in at the nest site. I am pleased to report that recently I saw both owls there so I am less concerned.
This also means that the owl that I saw on 10th November wasn't a refugee from this site, and I've now positively identified the nest location, although I haven't seen the owl again yet. The location is rather remote, and not comfortably accessed when the ground is wet, so it may be a while before I get any images from what I am now calling my new LO Site No.30.
On Sunday I had quite a good owling day, spotting one LO at my Site No.02 (plenty of photos taken, but nothing very different to those previously published). Shortly after this, I was at my LO Site No.17, where I found two LOs in a building that they don't often inhabit. No images were obtained as there were no windows and it was too dark to get a focus! I then went on to my LO Site No.03, and soon spotted a LO.
|Little Owl (a) - my Site No.03|
It was not possible to approach the tree in which it was sitting, and I had to observe from the road at some distance. It was constantly watching me as I observed it from various positions on the road.
|Little Owl (1) - my Site No.03|
The roles were suddenly reversed. I was staying still, and the owl was moving about in the tree, watching me from various vantage points. I got confused when it flew left, and immediately appeared on a branch to the right of where it had flown from. It then started to act even more strangely and also did that stretching thing that looks unbelievable on a bird that is usually so dumpy! It was only when this bird flew to a distant tree - and I saw an owl still in the tree I was facing - that I realised that I had been seeing two birds! By examining the pattern of the white spots on the head, I can see that the 'elastic owl' is different to the first one seen.
|Little Owl (2) - my Site No.03|
On the Saturday, my wife and I had gone for a walk at a local park. It looked very 'owly' and, chatting to some people that we met on our walk, we were told that Little Owls had been seen recently. I decided that a return visit was called for on Sunday afternoon as the weather was superb. I arrived at the likely location to find a couple with a scope and a camera with an 800mm Canon lens on! I asked if he was looking for the owls and he told me that one had been there earlier, but had been frightened off by a group of people. I had a look around and almost immediately spotted a Little Owl. Unfortunately it was at a great distance, behind a high fence, with no public access. It didn't move, other than to preen, the whole time that I was there, but it did call a few times as the light started to go. This is the best image that I could manage. It'll take some luck to improve on it, however, because of the lack of access - unless the owl comes to me! Anyway, I'm calling this new LO Site No.31.
|Little Owl - my new Site No.31|
Thus the day ended on a high, with six Little Owls seen over four different sites, and my second new LO site in November, and I'm hopeful for more - if only this weather would sort itself out!