OK, since my conscious decision a few weeks ago where I decided to dedicate more time to the owls things have been pretty productive to be fair. I have managed to see and photograph Barn, Little, Tawny and Short Eared Owls, and unbelievably they were all new sites for me!
My latest trip out was back again to the new Barn Owl site, yes I suppose I have become a bit of an obsessive when it comes to this site but seeing anything else in the week is a none starter because of the limited day light hours. But at this site the birds don't appear from the nest tree until well after dark so it doesn't interfere with work.
I was again in situ and parked up in the Landrover by 6pm, the first emerging occurred just before 7pm and that bird appears to be the oldest and bravest of this brood as it doesn't hang around waiting for me to photograph it, no soon after it has popped up its off practicing its flying along the hedgerow. It's two younger siblings gave me a right royal show though. They both appeared at the entrance a few seconds after big brother had flown off and they sat transfixed at the entrance watching him flying around.
As can be seen in this next image the two remaining youngsters are pretty well developed now, although their respective plumage do look very different indeed. The right hand bird (and I suspect the elder of these two) has a much more "adult" looking facial disc and darker breast feathers.
It is also the one who spends most of its time nearer the entrance, I suspect it is some kind of pecking order as it will be first in line when one of the adults comes in with a vole. This does happen quite frequently but sadly I have not managed to capture an image of the exchange of a meal package as it happens all too quickly and with it being pitch dark there is not sufficient shutter speed.
The young Barn Owls are very inquisitive creatures, they are constantly checking out every tiny movement they observe or sound they hear by way or twisting and contorting their heads in the strangest of positions.
I suspect that due to how well these young owls are developing they will be dispersing their natal site any day now. They will be off to establish a territory of their own and hopefully they will stay local, hence why I keep visiting as it may be the last time I ever see them?
Thanks for stopping by, catch up again soon..........