Daz then spotted another juvenile in the trees, not a Little Owl, but a Kestrel!
As we surveyed the open fields we notched up no fewer than four juveniles. One of them obliged for an image when it posed on top of the barn.
Both adult owls then showed well on the barn, to our amazement they started mating, I ask you right in front of the youngsters! Could there be a second breeding attempt at this site???
After a further 30 minute wait another juvenile showed, it was really dark by now and this was my last image of the night. Then at 10.00pm a third juvenile appeared, the three of them waited patiently for mum and dad to show.
Monday 27th June
Tonight it had been arranged for the Charnwood Ringers to visit and the plan was to ring more Little & Barn Owls. Sadly during my sites surveys in the preceding days the 3 Little Owl sites I'd got my eye on all let me down! I missed the juveniles at one site, they fledged earlier than I expected, a second site failed to produce any breeding evidence and the third site had been taken over by Stock Doves!
Never the less, we soldiered on and concentrated on Barn Owls. Originally we were going to visit 3 separate sites, but it was decided not to visit the third as we had already rung 3 of the 5 chicks there and a re-visit could cause distress and make the juveniles fledged too early.
At the first of the Barn owl sites the box was very high up in the eaves of a dutch barn, luckily I had arranged to borrow the land owners tractor that had had a cage fitted to it.
Andy getting ready to be hoisted up!
Andy up in the eaves, he just managed to reach the chicks.
There were three very healthy chicks, all were rung and returned as soon as possible.
Due to finishing the ringing earlier than planned I opted to go in search of more fledged Little Owls. I also wanted to try and get a "day light" image of the owls at my recently located site No 184 near to Wistow. It was a waiting game but eventually I managed an image, it wasn't really what I was after, more of a twilight image but better than my previous attempts.
3 juveniles were also noted, disappointingly I never managed a decent image because they were the other side of a gate!!!
Tuesday 28th June
The evening was spent searching for more fledged juveniles, at site No 75 no juveniles were noted but I did manage this comical image of one of the adults at the nest entrance.
Site No 22 produced another 4 fledgling, 1 was a Little Owl and 3 were Kestrels, amazingly the separate nests were only about 2 feet apart!
The last fledged Little Owl located on the night was a bit bazaar and a mystery to me. The nest cavity had been checked on two previous occasions in the last few weeks and nothing!!! No owls and no eggs so when I drove past and saw this Little Owl juvenile looking back at me it was a surprise to say the least.
Weds 29th June
This evening I ventured further a field in search of more juveniles, it was over in the eastern part of my survey area that I chanced upon my newest Little Owl site so far, No 186! I managed some half decent images but the light wasn't helping as it seemed to be always coming from behind the bird!
At site No 186 I also saw a second owl and heard the distinctive hissing of a juvenile, although I couldn't see it as it was hiding deep in the hedgerow!
And finally to bring things right up to date a final juvenile image from my site No 154, there's at least 2 juveniles here taking my proven tally to 22 different sites...............so far!!!!