I haven't being doing much of late, even though the weather has been very favorable other things have taken precedence and consequently getting out has been a premium. A couple of posts ago I mentioned that the adult male owl at one of my favourite sites had just vanished leaving the hen owl and three juveniles to fend for themselves??? I was hoping that it was just a coincidence but a further two visits (and long ones at that!) didn't get my hopes up as still no sightings of him were made. It is a real shame as I have known this particular owl for three years, right from when he was rung in the nest as a chick in 2010. Then in the spring of 2011 I re-located him two miles away with his new mate. The pair of them went on to successfully raise three separate broods in 2011, 12 & 13. For what ever reason he was a very confiding owl and at times would let me get very close. Because of his acceptable nature his mate and consequence offspring accepted me readily too.
I have gone back through my image archives and this was the very last image I took of him on the 18th of July as he sat amongst the thistles with one of his youngsters.
It is not in the nature for Little Owls to "do a runner" as they pair for life, and in my experience it is not "normal" for one of the adult owls to spend so much time away from their fledged juveniles. My only conclusion is that he has been predated or hit by a car??? I will however be making another couple of visits to this site before I go to Mull, I suppose keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best is all I can do now?