No, not me, but the Little Owls! It's at about this time of year that the Little Owls start showing themselves as pairs more often than is usual. I guess it's a sort of bonding thing, just before the mating season starts. Those that are not paired-up become more vocal as they seek a mate. This is a great time to see LOs as the leaves are not on the trees. Later, whilst the females are brooding the eggs, the males will be busy foraging for food, but then things get a little more difficult as the leaves tend to hide them from view. The next really good opportunities (hopefully!) come when the young owls start to fledge.
Sadly, I've not been able to make the most of the past month, for various reasons, not the least of which was a major glitch on my PC's file management system which resulted in my Nikon software crashing every time I tried to work on raw files that had been newly loaded onto my PC. Previously worked-on raw files were no problem! In the end the problem was solved by running a file system repair tool.
Anyway, I have been able to get out owling a few times, and even found a new Little Owl site. I've also managed to locate the actual nest cavity of the previous site that I'd found.
One of my most recent LO sites (No.44) is pretty much a sure-fire bet for spotting one or more of the owls. The nest tree is close to the road, where it is possible to park without causing significant disruption to the sparse traffic. The only problem is that the light is always virtually directly behind the owls when I visit. I'm hoping that an early start in a few weeks time might just give me an opportunity with a little more favourable lighting. Here's a few from No.44.
|Little Owls - my Site No.44|
Site No.41, where the nest tree was destroyed in a gale last year, also continues to give reliable sightings, although at a great distance. The birds have tended to keep to the opposite side of the field to the original nest tree in which we put up an owl box. However, we've had reports of them spending more time near the original nest tree, although I've not seen it for a long while. Here's one of them in their favourite tree for roosting in when there's a west wind blowing.
|Little Owls - my Site No.41|
Another recent site (No.43) where, for a while, only one bird was showing, turned up trumps in mid-February when two birds were seen together. Remarkably this location is only approximately 200 metres from my Site No.34, which also has two birds present.
|Little Owls - my Site No.43|
|Little Owls - my new Site No.46|