In Dusk We Trust - Some Owling in Co.Durham, North East England, Great Britain
Leucistic Little Owl image copyright Hilary Chambers, Durham.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Long-eared Owl youngster enjoying the sun

Some pics of a youngster enjoying a bit sunshine :-

A fat sleeping lump

Giving a passing Willow Tit the evil-eye

Waiting for the end of the day.....


Yesterday evening visited a country estate on edge of Durham City

A pair of Long-eareds with 3 young out & about - the eldest an accomplished flier - its siblings not quite as skilful - one hanging from rabbit-netting fencing, beating its wings furiously untill it clambered to the top, the other doing its best to perch on the top strand of barb wire - comical to watch.
A couple of roding Woodcock & Little Owl with inquisitive juvs out of the nest too.
juv Little Owl - spotted me at 80 yards

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Leo ringing visit

This pair were visited recently, the young were too small for ringing. They are on average around 4 weeks behind compared with other birds in the County -


Mr Grumpy
 (hes the middle one in the nest)

The smallest of the 3.
Cute isnt a word i thought id ever use on this blog...........

Many thanks to a local owler for the 2 images above.

heres a Little Owl :-

and another 3 in a box - just about ready to go....

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Rub-a-Dub-Dub - Owls in a Tub

An invitation to inspect a location with Long-eareds utilising an artificial nest Tub.

nest Tub in Scots Pine @ 40' above the ground
Two Long-eared Owlets in a sturdy & safe nest - these are used by a variety of other species, from Kestrel to Wood Pigeon !

These 2 remain from a clutch of 5 eggs - both were bill clacking, the large one rocking & swaying - after a few moments the small individual made a series of begging calls.

Other larger raptors use this area, & interestingly, the adult birds, although watching us, made no vocalisations at all - perhaps not wanting to draw any attention to themselves or the nest.

Also of note, the body plumage of these birds is more advanced than we usually find at this stage.

This tub contained 3 adult flight feathers
Two images showing comparison between Long-eared & Tawny feathers :-
Long-eared Left - Tawny Right
Tawny Left - Long-eared Right.
An interesting & informative visit - Many thanks to local nest-boxer JW.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Branching out

Heres a couple of images of a bird not long out of the nest, @ 28 days old.

Even at this early age, this recently branched youngster tries to avoid detection. Drawing himself up as tall as possible & then remaining perfectly still.

As we got closer the owlet began bill clacking, rocking sideways plumping out with body plumage & wings.

puffing itself up to appear as large as possible & closing eyes

I dont know if its more comical than it is intimidating!

means business - rocking & swaying with more bill-clacking, fluffed right out & beginning to show flight feathers.

Big & scarey !
Flight feathers on show - it was time for us to go...

We saw the male, keeping watch from the sidelines :-

A similar scenario at another location on an evening visit :-
 1 of 3 young here, not much to hide behind, but still managing to blend in with its surroundings.

The female was sitting close at hand in full view- id been watching this area for 15mins, before i noticed her ! & the best of the evenings light had gone.
During that time i was wondering why i wasnt hearing any begging calls from the juvs - she was obviously aware of me & shut them up..... i took this image of her doing her best to avoid detection & headed off.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

another cool evening

A cool damp evening with limited activity
Males off out hunting, branched young remaining within & begging from the natal area with females in close attendance - one repeating an odd low rasping note whilst she sat on watch waiting for her mates return.
As the light went we went to leave, enjoying open, close range views of the female attending to one of her youngsters - even at this young age the youngster knowing when to remain silent & still to help avoid detection.

Digi-binned shot of calling female awaiting her mates return

phone-image of male circling around us checking us out before continuing his hunt

Very little else to report other than good numbers of Swifts, only 1 Noctule bat, no sight nor sound of any other owl species.