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Saturday, 9 November 2013

Encouraging! - on Thursday 7th November, 2013

If you follow this blog, you may remember that, on 17th October, we found the nest tree at my Little Owl Site No.41 had suffered a catastrophe, and that the nest cavity had been destroyed. On 20th October Titus and I erected a nest box in the remains of the tree, but were not too hopeful that the owls would use it (a) because of the trauma of the tree's collapse and (b) because building work had commenced about 70 metres away at about the time of the collapse. Whilst erecting the box we'd heard an owl call, but had not seen or heard an owl on subsequent visits - until Thursday!

Whilst out with Titus for our usual day owling/general birding, we stopped at Site No.41 as being our first choice for somewhere to eat our picnic lunch and look out for the owls. I'm delighted to say that I soon picked one up on the far side of the field, about 80 metres away. It was dozing! The following is a very distant record shot as there is no way we are going to risk disturbing these birds.

Little Owl (a) - my Site No.41
A few minutes later I spotted the second owl, again on the far side of the field and also dozing.

Little Owl (b) - my Site No.41
This is about 30 days after the nest was destroyed, so it is very encouraging indeed, although we could not detect whether the box has yet been used.

It had been a very wild and wet night the night before, which might explain why the birds were dozing. That morning I had driven through floods to get to my LO Site No.02, and one of the owls was out and dozing also, although it did open one eye at the sound of my camera. This one taken from my car at about 30 metres range.

Little Owl - my Site No.02
We're still keeping our fingers crossed for Site No.41, but the prospects now look a little better than we first thought.

16 comments:

  1. so sweet! I hope your nest box does the trick. I was watching nest sites of glossy black cockatoos on Kangaroo Is once and one tree with a hollow had fallen between seasons. I saw a pair come in and fly around the site for ages looking at the fallen tree. It was quite sad! Same with hooded plovers when the nest gets washed out :(

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    1. Thank you Amanda. We had lots of nests washed out this summer, when the water level rose in the reservoirs.

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  2. Congratulations. Your record of success with Litle owls is quite remarkable.

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  3. Some great positive news Richard, like the last image of the owl with one eye open, reminds me of myself some mornings.

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    1. Thanks, Doug. I guess I should have put some Tip-ex round the entrance hole to the box - I'm told it's an excellent way of seeing, at a distance, if anything is using the box.

      These dark mornings, it's very tempting to open one eye, and then shut it again!

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  4. That's great news Richard,hope your hard work pays off.
    John.

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  5. Hi Richard: Thanks for your comment about Bufflehead. Come on over and I'll show them to you! In fact, if ever you wish to visit Ontario at any time of the year, please count on me to help you in any way possible.

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    1. Thank you for your very generous offer, David, which is much appreciated. I might even take you up on this sometime as I have a cousin in Fordwich, ON, who is owed a visit!

      Sorry to have taken so long to publish your comment and reply - I've not been doing anything on Blogger for a while.

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  6. Excellent news, Richard! Hopefully, you'll discover them using the nesting box in the near future! In the meantime, it's encouraging just to find out they're still in the area.

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    1. Thank you for your supportive words, Wally.

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  7. Goos luck Richard. Sounds like there is a chance it will be re occupied soon. Fingers crossed.

    three lovely images, but not surprising is it that the last one gets my vote.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Dave. Saw one of the birds yesterday too, but no evidence of them haviing been in the box yet.

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  8. I should proof read more often.... Good Luck!

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    1. I'd be happy if my typos had only ever been as small as yours!

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