Wednesday, 20 August 2014

AN URBAN LITTLE OWL!!!!

On Saturday I went past the barn with the Little Owl, however the farmer was busy harvesting so opted not to pay it a closer visit, the farmer whilst transferring from one field to the next had flatten the grass area were I hide so most of my cover has temporarily gone, it is only flattened so should pop up with a bit of sun. I could see the pair of them so all was ok. One other negative I noted was on Sunday, more people were walking their dogs past as a result of the field just being stubble rather then crops I made a note to myslef to give the barn a wide berth in terms of photography for a while until things get a bit more quite as the local farmer was saying to me "they do it every year, go mental walking their dogs for a week or so then they vanish" it made me chuckle. He knows about the Little Owls and was saying he often sees a Barn Owl but only when the winter weather gets bad he pointed where he normally sees a Barn Owl whilst working the land, I thanked him and we talked some more before I left....I like chatting to farmers.
However my big surprise came on the Saturday bike ride home after work, I needed some shopping so went into a local branch of a particular supermarket (no adverts or plugging here) at the Weston Favell Centre. I rode back via the back of my old school called Weston Favell Upper (think it's called Secondary now) and was passing an area we called the "horse shoe" a big grass embankment the shape of....a horse shoe, clever we were as kids lol. There is a busy dual carriageway to one side, houses on the left, more houses (Charnwood Avenue) to the right with some lovely tall pine tree's in every garden not much but a nice cycle path when I heard a bird call that made me slam my brakes on I did have a lot of shopping and cycling uphill....sure it was a Little Owl, it was I saw Jay fly from some bushes and located were the Jay was I could see a small round blob, a Little Owl. No camera on me so Sunday as I went into work I took it with me, but on the cycle into and back from work nothing, perhaps it was a juvenile dispersed and lost I thought, it's hardly an ideal area for a Little Owl, sure I have found two separate breeding Sparrowhawks nearby and we used to have a Tawny Owl for about eight years, sadly no more. But a Little Owl? I have seen some images from London of Little Owls but the parks are massive.
Well on Monday I took the plunge and went looking for it, not expecting much to be fair thinking it had gone. I checked every tree, bush had a talk with an old boy who reckon he had seen a baby "tawny" and went to look in the area he pointed too.
Voila!
Trying to hide from me, it looked nervous and I got three frames, this one, one exactly the same (huh) and one of the tail as it flew off, very nervous but it has to be said very healthy looking, is it a juvenile? I'm sure either Richard or Paul will let me know. I watched as it went "woodpecker" style along the fences of the houses and into the school area were obviously I can't get close to it and watched after about ten minutes I watched it hunting earthworms....maybe a good area for it.
Quite frankly I couldn't believe what I had found I was beginning to get all sorts of thoughts in my head, where did it disperse from, have there always been a Little Owl in the area that I have overlooked, will it be ok and how many others have seen it or like me had heard it?
I have been on a little (sic) roll with these of late but this one brought the biggest smile, though I have to say I wasn't happy with this birds pose it looked scared, it was. It has made me feel awkward about posting the image.

6 comments:

  1. This is a perfect shot. It couldn't be bettered.
    It wants sending right round the world.

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  2. Thanks Adrian, however not happy with the "nervous" like pose would rather a more relaxed looking owl...urban life I guess

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  3. Yes 100% a Juvenile Doug. The "erect" posture (or nervous stance as you put it) is quite normal, nothing to be alarmed about. Part of their reactions to potential danger is to "freeze" in this upright manner, sort of hoping you don't see them? If you avoid eye contact and take your time you will be amazed just how quickly they will get use to you, but beware, if you encroach too near they will be off! Great image too.

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    1. Thank you for all of that Paul. I was worried when it did it's 'alarm' pose and sad it never hung around, must have been my aftershave :-)

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  4. Great post Douglas, observation plays such an important part in this hobby that we get so much enjoyment out of, great find and interesting and informed comments from Paul.

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    1. Thanks John, both Paul (owlsaboutthatthen blog) and Richard have often given me loads of advice, tips and info, check out their blogs.

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