"Operation noctua" end of week 20

July 07, 2012

Another gloomy, cool, damp week for our little owl family – and once again, I’ve not been up to their “hood” more than twice all week (due to my fortnight off running, poor health and wet weather).


That said, Anna and I did drive up there on Thursday evening and saw all four owls (both young and both parents) sat on perches in the field an hour before dusk – so all seems ok at least. Both young were perched together on their favourite shed gutter, one of the parents was perched on top of the shed and the other parent was perched 200m or so away on their “winter shed” – where I watched the male all winter before he was joined by his “laydee” at the start of spring.


My guess is the adult male will be more comfortable in his winter roost now  - more space, less demands on him from his prodigy and he will possibly often get to catch his own food rather than have it taken from him.


My second guess is that the family is (incredibly slowly admittedly) moving apart. As I’ve mentioned before, the two youngsters will have to learn how to fend for themselves completely before the autumn is truly upon us – and by that time they should be looking to set up new territories of their own.


My third guess (pure speculation)  is that all four owls will spend another month (maximum) together, slowly getting on each-others’ nerves more and more, until both young fly off (separately I would say) to take a field, roost and potential nest site of their own.


So…. I think I have a month left seeing all four owls regularly (if and when I get up there) and then I will be down to occasionally seeing one owl for months – but very possibly nowhere near the nest box.


I really will try and get up to “Owl-ville” during the rest of july, to try and get a half decent photo two (to add to my only two half-decent photos so far), but unless both my health and the weather improve dramatically and quickly, I’m not promising much I’m afraid.


I’ll do what I can, but until then, all I can say is that it was lovely to see all four owls in their field on Thursday evening – all seems well in the world to me, when the local owls are ok – silly I know!

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