As regular visitors to this site will know, I've taken a week off work to a) try and photograph the local little owls, b) try and attract my favourite birds of all (swifts) to our new house and c) start to throw this vile lurgy I have at present.
Unfortunately, the weather is not playing ball with any of the above, but on hearing that we'd get a mostly dry day today (at least) I thought I'd stake out the owls and see wat gwan in their field.
I did take my camera up (on radio remote) and placed it on top of their barn - they do like to sunbathe and I'd thought I'd hide in the long grass 30m or so away (in my ghillie suit) and wait.
Well.... a couple of hours later and covered in flies, I retrieved the camera because the owls weren't playing ball. That said, at least one was in the box (a further 30m or so away, but hidden from me by a tree trunk) and I can at least confirm that the owls have taken possession of the box itself (no kestrels or stock doves appeared this morning) and at least appear to be breeding.
I have not seen more than one owl at any one time during the past week (up until now I've almost invariably seen them together) but I regard this as a good thing. If the female is laying, she'll be incubating each egg immediately (in the box) and the male will probably be banished somewhere else for now...
I am pretty confident that somewhere below the black opening of the box (see photo below), there is a female owl, hopefully laying and incubating as I type...
Watch this space.