Not Barn Owls today, though I did go out looking again (as I do every night!), but Little Owls.
I headed back over to my new Little Owl site today, I had a quick check to make sure I could see them from a distance, and then headed over for a longer stakeout.
Well, it really didn't take long... I parked up and setup the sigmonster to go 'hand-held'... No, that's not a euphemism, but seriously that lens weighs near-on 10kg on it's own so trying to hold that up to my eye whilst keeping it steady is not easy (especially if you have arms like a 15year old girl).
Anyway I heard a Little Owl 'contact call', which is what they do to get their partners or their parents attention. I walked the long way round the site to approach the barn on the far side, but I noticed fairly early on that in fact there was not just the one owl, but there were two! Absolutely fantastic news as for months now only 1 owl has been seen. I walked a bit closer and again took another hand-held shot, but both scarpered once I walked around another corner, so I didn't even see where they went!
Since they both flew off I headed back to the car to set up the tripod.
I walked up to the former slurry pit, which sounds lovely doesn't it?! but it's now just a reed bed and there is no sign of, or smell of slurry anywhere.
As I stood at the top I noticed now on the other side of the barn just the top of a head and the slightest peeping eyes watching me!
I continued to watch this Little one for about half an hour - he didn't do much, just sat there, looked around and basically sat there sunbathing!
After the 30 minutes he got a bit more alert and kept looking behind, I looked in that direction but couldn't see or hear anything so I'm not sure what caught it's attention? But shortly after looking around he jumped up onto the edge of the guttering and took flight into the trees behind me.
I hung around for maybe another 20 mins or so, but he didn't seem to come back.
I sat back in the car, checked my phone, then went for a little walk around the site, couldn't find the owl again.
Then, as is always the way I went for 'one last check' up on the slurry pit, and spotted a small head back in the far guttering again. I hadn't been spotted so I decided to get the smaller lens and walk round right up to the guttering to see him.
Well, when I got there it was the same as before, just a head and eyes watching me, only this one seemed TINY, smaller than the others, so I actually think there are (at least) three of the owls at this site.
I cannot stress though, just how cute this owl was, it was really small, I'd liken it's size to about a coffee mug! I think the weather is going to worsen for the next few days so probably won't get out to see these guys again for a while.