Owl be seeing you …………….

There is not a lot of bird activity in the garden this week, although we saw our first goldfinches of the year on the feeders yesterday (Thursday 28th), so I thought I would trawl through my archive and share some pictures of Tawny Owls.

This owl visited our garden in May 2007 and perched on an overflow pipe on our dormer extension. The photo was taken at night so I had to use flash which reflected from its eyes – similar to red-eye in people but a different colour. I used ‘Paintshop Pro‘ to correct this.

The tawny owls below are roosting in daylight. The one on the left, taken in June 2017, was perched on a conifer in an urban garden and the other photo was taken in Wollaton Park on the 14th of March 2018. Tawny owls are nocturnal so they find a daytime roost to rest up before setting out for a night’s hunting.

My friend has installed an owl nesting box in his garden and a pair of tawny owls have successfully raised young in it for a number of years. He took the left hand picture very quickly with a small camera held inside the box on the 6th of May 2018. A fortnight later he kindly invited me into his garden to photograph one of the owlets perched at the entrance. The amount of development over that short period is remarkable.

In July 2019 I was invited once again to visit my friend’s garden to see the owlets ‘branching’. They aren’t fully fledged but they come out of the nest box and perch on the branches of, in this case, a lime tree. You can see some adult wing feathers appearing through the fluffy down. Looking further up the tree I caught sight of one of the adults keeping an eye on the fledgling and also on me! I didn’t stay long so as not to disturb them. The dappled sunlight through the lime leaves makes a very attractive backdrop

I hope you enjoy this dip into my archive. I would like to think I might take more pictures this year as the pair are again regularly seen in my friend’s garden but with the corona virus restrictions it won’t be possible for me to get close. However it is really good news that this pair of tawny owls are very likely to breed again. Nature goes on despite the pandemic, perhaps more so, as human interference is less likely.

Feel free to pass this email on to your friends if you wish but please remember, if you are forwarding to a list of people, use BCC to keep their email addresses private. Finally do remember the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch this weekend. Stay safe and enjoy the wildlife.

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