Went out on an owl search this morning with Jenny, a local lass who is very much into her birding and a volunteer at the Rutland Osprey Project. She is very much "in the know" with all the local land owners and with her connections we were able to venture to places I'd never been to before.
The Landrover came in very handy as went from one rural location to another. Mid morning though I had a bit of a shock at one site, "park up the Landie Paul, we are going on foot from here"...........what!! "Come on she said, its only a short walk", she obviously didn't know that I am allergic to walking! Dam and blast I had no choice so reluctantly I agreed and off we went. It was a nice area that had plenty of potential, but no owls were seen. After about ten miles of walking (well it felt like it was that far) we finally got back to the Landie for a well earned rest. Jen then surprised me again by unveiling a flask of tea and bacon rolls, all was forgiven!
She took me to several other locations during the morning, all of which had great owl potential. I will be returning to them one evening in the week to see if they produce the goods. Late morning we passed one of my "special owl sites", so beings as Jenny was doing her bit to help me the least I could do was to stop off and show her some juvenile owls.....if they were still there?
As we approached the corner of the field where the juveniles hang out we spotted one almost immediately, they were still here!. It wasn't long before all three were seen and they put on quite a show for her, one even briefly landed on the Landrover bonnet. I couldn't resist the chance to grab a quick image of two of them on this perch, they may not be here the next time I visit?
Towards the end of our owl tour I showed Jenny around an area where I have some owl boxes that have yet to be occupied. I was taking a route that I'd taken on many previous occasions and as we passed a Willow Tree that sits in total isolation right in the middle of a field an owl was spotted!
Was it a new site or was it a dispersing juvenile from elsewhere? Gradually I inched the Landrover nearer and nearer until eventually I was close enough to grab an image, below.
A quick review of the image confirmed it was a juvenile, so was it a new site or a dispersing juvenile? It was inconclusive, there was no way we could know either way.
As we sat and watched another owl was spotted higher up in the tree, a quick manoeuvre of the Landrover and we than had it in full view..........it was an adult! That proved without doubt this was a new site for me, No 214!
The thing that surprised me is I have passed that particular Willow Tree and checked it out on numerous occasions, and seen nothing! Must have been my lucky mascot........nice one Jenny!