Still a little bit dozy from a hectic week gone by I trundled into the kitchen this morning at about 7 am to pop the kettle on and make a coffee. I glanced over to the window and was greeted by.. a GIANT pair of deep yellow eyes looking in on me.
A baby owl was sat on the window ledge catching the morning rays! This was a real chance encounter, a baby from the nesting pair of little owls that are in the giant oak tree in an adjoining paddock. We’ve watched this pair watching us for the last eighteen months or so, always dipping in and out of the garden and making themselves heard to our guests most nights by singing down the chimneys.
They’re normally only active at dusk/nightime but of late we have seen some pretty adventurous hunting going on, they’ve been perching on the compost heap or atop the bean wigwam in the potager and taking small mice/voles from the lawn at dusk – it’s quite something to see.
This little fellow, obviously this years offspring with downy fluff on top of his head, looked startled even for an owl but seemed quite happy to watch me go about my business making a pot of coffee in the kitchen. Quick as I could I went to get the camera and on my return.. he’d gone.. but peering out of the kitchen window – he was scrabbling about in the flower bed under the window
So, he was off on his maiden flight, got a bit lost, ran out of steam or just plain stopped for something to eat. I was concerned that one of the local cats would have him so spent the next few hours on guard chasing them off whenever they ventured near. He obviously found a good hiding spot as it wasn’t until about 11 am that a parent put in an appearance and then stood guard over him almost all day. Thankfully the parent put out an alarm call at the approach of anything threatening so we were able to shoo-away anything that might have got to this little fluffball.
Fast forward 12 hours and he’s survived the day, he made it up to the roof of the grange barn at 7pm this evening and I’ve seen the adults both in close attendance, he’ll live to fly another day just as long as he keeps his head down – we have plenty of other birds of prey, a barn owl roosts in our barn plenty of nights and buzzards are always hovering around – I don’t know for sure but I think they’d predate on this little fellow without much thinking.
I’m sure he’ll be fine now and I look forward to seeing him around the garden in the future.