"Operation noctua" end of week 4 - spliced HD video

March 17, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

In the main the week has been foggy in the mornings then sunny, still and warm (very warm on a few days), with rain arriving at the weekend.

I managed to get up to see the owls late in the week (on the warmest, sunniest day when I thought they might be sunbathing) and found both owls sunbathing on one barn, two red-legged partridge sunbathing on top of the other barn and both kestrels dustbathing near the second barn - the local birds have obviously enjoyed this warm, dry week.

The (slightly) worrying thing about our owls at present though is that they seem intent on allowing the kestrel pair to gain rights to their owl box. I watched the male kestrel enter the box at dusk this evening and remain there for a good half an hour (with his good laydee watching from the perch nearest the box) - as both little owls sat on the nearby cattle shelter, seemingly concerned by doing nothing about the kestrels.

It was only when a pair of buzzards flapped through the field that the kestrels left the box, in order to mob the bigger raptors...

So... are our owls going to give up rights to the owl box and nest elsewhere (the cattle shelter?). There seems no room at all (or much shelter for that matter) to nest in the cattle shelter, so I doubt it - but if they do want to nest in the owl box, they'll have to start to put up a proper fight for it....

 

The clip I've embedded onto this blog post is made up of four clips spliced into one - clips which show mutual preening, wing stretching and even defaecation.

As normal, please enlarge the embedded video player (box and arrow at bottom RHS of the player) for a much better, smoother playback.

 

Owl watch - 11th and 12th March combined

 

It won't be long now before (I hope) our owls mate and the female starts to take a very active, more prolonged interest in her box, disappearing into it (I hope) more and more, rather than roosting in the cattle barn with her mate.

She'll have to fight off the constant attentions of the pair of stockdoves (and kestrels) though - both are not giving the owls much space...

 


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