Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Little Owl lifts the gloom

Hemel Area: Rain fell for most of this morning and the whole day has been wrapped up tight in grey gloom. I was feeling about as sparky as the weather and it was with some reluctance that I left the house for some fresh air before lunch. I squelched my way along a muddy path and then, suddenly, there, on a fence post, I spied a ball of feathers. It was too small for a Woodpigeon but, of course, once I got the binoculars on it, I found I was watching a gorgeous Little Owl. It was having a spot of bother with a Magpie, which had decided that the grasses below the owl were the best place to forage for food. The owl wasn’t best pleased and kept a beady eye on the Magpie until it got the message and moved on.



I didn’t want to disturb the bird so the photo and video footage were digiscoped from some distance, in very poor light (I’ve removed the audio). Not great quality but hopefully still enjoyable. The section of the video where the owl is turning around and looking at the ground is when the Magpie was below it, chancing its arm.




I think the last Little Owl I saw was at Berkhamsted in 2013. I only heard one calling last year at Westbrook Hay when a friend and I were out searching for Edible Dormice.

Little Owl, Berkhamsted, 2013

Watching any wild owl is pretty special and today’s bird was no different. I forgot my soaked feet, wet jeans and the heavy cloud: all of my attention and emotion were lifted and tied up in this little ball of feathers that was bothered by a Mapgie, cleaned its bill and sat and surveyed the land. Fab!

6 comments:

  1. So, we both experienced 'owls of delight' today... I'll get my coat...

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    1. lol, most definitely! I’m not sure I would have been able to recover from the shock if mine had been Long-eared.

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  2. It appears that you really enjoyed your "chance" encounter with the Little Owl, you've just got to love em, a nice piece and image!

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    1. Thanks Paul. Little Owls seem to have features around the face which give them all sorts of wonderful expressions. I can imagine you’ve seen all sorts in the course of your monitoring and ringing work, lol!

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  3. Excellent find Lucy!! Not seen a local one for some time now.

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