In an attempt to get the afternoon/evening owling session off to a good start I called in to one of my more reliable Little Owl sites. It is quite a rare occurrence not to see an owl or two here and today was no exception with the resident pair showing very well indeed!
After many years of using the apex in an old barn for their nest site this year they were tempted to re-locate into a nest box we put up for them last winter. Only last week Col and I checked out the box and the hen bird was inside brooding her two tiny chicks. The location of the box makes it much more accessible for me to get close in the Landrover with the minimal of disruption and as planned the viewing and closeness of the owls is much improved.
I hadn't been parked up for long when the pair appeared on the barn roof, it's a busy farm yard with vehicles coming and going all day so they soon ignored me and got on with what owls get on with.
The Landrover was positioned parallel to where the birds gain entry into the open-sided barn which is near to where the nest box is sited. Because there are chicks in the box I knew the hen owl wouldn't venture too far away and as it proved she didn't! Great views were had of her as she grubbed around on the floor looking for tit bits and morsels.
My second task of the day was to follow up a message that I received from Dave & Liz (local land owners in a nearby village), they think they may have seen a Barn Owl at the entrance to a nest box they have only recently erected. Now this snippet of information did make some sense because only a few hundred yards from where they live I had an "active" box with a pair of Barn Owls in residence. Unfortunately on my last visit to this particular box (a few weeks ago now) the Barn Owls had been evicted by a pair of Stock Doves who were by then tightly incubating their own eggs.
I had no idea as to where the Barn Owls had gone but armed with this latest information maybe not too far? Well my investigations proved to be very positive, initially a couple of very wet, heavy and jet black pellets were discovered on the ground below the box, certainly no more than a day or two old. Then after getting into the right position two Barn Owls could be made out roosting in the box. I will be making another visit one evening this week to investigate further, hopefully this is not just a roost site and breeding has commenced, time will tell............?
Not too far from where Dave & Liz's house is located I have a Tawny Owl site that I've been monitoring on and off for the last couple of months. I have seen a pair "day roosting" in a natural tree cavity on a few occasions but not recently so I suspected their chosen nest site was elsewhere. Last night I went and parked up near to this tree and waited, for the first 30 minutes nothing was either seen or heard. Then to my total surprise a Tawny Owl chick emerged at the cavity entrance, it was brilliant to watch and I filled my boots with dozens of images.
I even managed to capture some video footage of the Chick as it inquisitively looked at its new world, click on image below to view.
So not a bad few hours owling, sightings were made of three different species all within just a few hundred yards of each other!
Thanks for stopping by, see ya all soon.........