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.