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Monday, 30 September 2013

September's Owls - 2013

Partly due to a lack of cooperation on the part of the owls, and partly due to a lack of application on my own part, I've had one of my worst months on record, with only ten sightings of Little Owl over a meagre three sites!

Earlier in September I posted on the owls, with some images which included sightings up until 5th September. Here are a few taken since then.

On 12th September, on my way to pick up Titus for an afternoon out, an owl was out in one of its favourite positions at my Little Owl Site No.02. Most of the time it looked as if it was about to nod off!

Little Owl - my Site No.02
Having picked up Titus, we set off for a spot of owling. One of the owls was out at my LO Site No.41. It seems that this Hawthorn bush has become its favourite roosting place as I've seen it there three times in succession.

Little Owl - my Site No.41
This time, the owl decided to move from the bush to the nearby barn roof. It then flew to a more distant location. I believe that this is the first time I've actually captured a Little Owl in flight. They're pretty poor images as I wasn't intending a flight shot, but it might actually prompt me to try and do better!


Little Owl - my Site No.41
Later we were at my LO Site No.23, and found an owl out on its favourite perch. We only viewed it from the car, at a distance.

Little Owl - my Site No.23
After this we had a most enjoyable afternoon at Rutland Water.

A week later, on 19th September, I was again out with Titus on our weekly get-together, and we found a Little Owl out at my Site No.41, again in his favourite Hawthorn bush. This time we managed to take our photos and leave him undisturbed.

Little Owl - my Site No.41
Again we spent the rest of the afternoon at Rutland Water, and there were no further sightings of owls that day.

Out with Titus again to Rutland Water, we found a Little Owl again at my Site No.23. In spite of passing by this place maybe five or six times a month in the summer over the past four years, I've only seen the owl here about seven times, so I was delighted to find him again so soon after the last sighting. This time he was enjoying the warm rays of the sun whilst sitting in the shelter of an RSJ.


Little Owl - my Site No.23
We tried a stealthy approach but he ducked between the cladding and the web of the RSJ, so we departed. Having spent some time at Rutland Water again, we found him in the same place on our return journey, but it was getting dark by now. It rather looks as if the bird picked up some rust whilst between the cladding and the RSJ!

Little Owl - my Site No.23
I have had some owling excursions without Titus, but no interesting sightings occurred. On my last attempt I heard owls at two locations, but they were hidden away in their nest trees. I'm hoping October will bring better results, especially as I'm expecting to have a bit more time on my hands.

16 comments:

  1. I'm glad you check their sites on a regular basis. It's funny because many birders will keep the site of an owl secret. I feel like their greatest asset is disappearing, but when discovered, they are very vulnerable. Congrats on the flight shots. It's rather exciting when an owl flies.....if we're lucky enough to see it:) Our Great Horned Owls are silent stalkers!

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    1. Thanks Chris. I find that I do have to be careful about divulging locations as owls seem to attract a lot of people and are very vulnerable to disturbance.

      It's great to watch owls fly when they are going about their business naturally, but in this case I'm afraid that it probably flew because it was disturbed by my presence (although I was at a reasonable distance), and I don't feel so good about this.

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  2. Beautiful Little Owl. Well caught Richard. It is funny, that they live around nicely, but it lives on a old buildings, ha ha.

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    1. Thanks Bob. Most of my Little Owls live in trees, but they do also like unused buildings. They're also very partial to living in stacks of straw bales - I guess it provides a nice warm dry environment in the winter - but then they get displaced as the stacks diminish as winter draws on, so not a good choice of home!

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  3. Your flight shots Richard are better then anything I've ever managed, I like them both. Great images all of them but really like the first one at site 23 sat on the pipe with the barn, I think that one is a bit special.

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    1. Thanks Doug. Yes, I'm rather fond of that one too, but wish the focus had been a bit sharper!

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  4. Owls and Rutland water so close to you, it must be amazing having all that so close. I'd be really happy with even one Little Owl sighting. From Findlay

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    1. Rutland Water's not that close, Findlay - it's about 45 miles from me!

      If you're ever down this way, it'd be my privilege to try and show you and the family a Little Owl, although sightings can never be guaranteed!!

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  5. HI Richard Lovely too have the up date on your Owl excursions with and without Titus. I loved all the photographs and I thought the Owl in flight was really quite good. Perhaps as you are going to have more time, you will discover more sighting.

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    1. Thank you Margaret. I'm hoping for a few more sightings in October - weather permitting!

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  6. You can't win them all Richard,I often have moments like that,we have had our PC serviced,so we are back to usual.
    Your flight shots are amazing,I have to reley on Sue for all flight shots.
    John.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, John. Thanks also to you and Sue for your inspiration, although my new-found interest in macro could be a bit time-consuming!!!.

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  7. Once again, I really enjoyed the report on your Owls! Wonderful photographs! It's so amazing how they can blend in with their surroundings.
    Hopefully, October will be "Owl Month"! (For both of us!)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Wally. I'm keeping my fingers crossed (for both of us!).

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  8. I loved reading about your sightings!
    Goodness me, 10 sightings in a month and you say it poor!!
    I would love to manage half that! LOL!
    Cheers Richard!

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    1. Thanks Noushka. Most months I'm more focussed on the owls and would hope to have 20+ sightings.

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