During the last week or so I've been spending as much free time as possible visiting some of my "known" Little Owl sites. Each location has previous breeding pedigree, so in order to help me prioritise which locations will be "live" in the spring the ground work has to be done now. Initially my first objective was to see if the birds are still in residence, and if so is there is a pair too?
|Site No 88, a pair in residence but not photographed together.|
|Site No 154, a pair in residence but not photographed together.|
I have also noticed that this year compared to others the owls are mating earlier than I have witnessed before. Not sure why this is but what it does mean is there are going to be some early chicks for sure. At some of the sites where I have only observed a single owl it doesn't necessarily mean there isn't a pair in residence, just that the hen owl has already started her incubation duties.
However, at some sites I have been lucky enough to have witnessed and photographed the resident pair. It was good news at site No 26, a pair are in residence after a barren two years!
|The resident pair at my site No 26.|
It was also good news at my site No 39. I'd major concerns here as a new housing estate has been erected only 20 metres away from the nest tree, I thought the birds would vacate the site because of all the noise and human interference, I was obviously wrong!
|The resident pair at my site No 39.|
Site No 61, only a single owl has been seen here so far.
|Site No 61, no birds here last year, looks like they have returned.|
|Site No 92, proven breeding here for the last 5 consecutive years!|
|Site No 35, a shy bird still here.|
|A pair still in residence at site No 72|
|Site 72, only one bird seen.|
A quite stern and angry looking solitary owl was also observed at site No 214. An unusual nest site location this, in a willow tree on the end of a peninsular that is surrounded by water on 3 sides.
It isn't all good news though, so far there has been 17 roadside sites that I've previously monitored breeding activity at where no sightings have been made after 3 separate visits. I am just hoping that it was down to my inadequate observation skills rather than there being no birds present?
Thanks for stopping by, catch up soon........