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Patience and perseverance

15th December 2015
Some of you may remember the blog I wrote back in July 2014 (if not you can go to News/blogs and scroll down to July 2014 ), it was about a little Owlet that we found that unfortunately had broken both its legs. As I held this little precious life in my hands and looked into those bight eyes, I was hoping above all hope that we would have a miracle. I had to give it a chance, so I drove to a Falconer I knew, knowing I suppose deep in my heart that I wouldn't be able to save this little guy.. and sadly it was not meant to be.. I was truly heartbroken...

I knew there were Little Owls living local to me but up to that point I hadn't been lucky enough to see one. So now after this sad loss at least I knew they were sort of close by.

So in-between other projects and trips throughout the year I searched my local patch periodically for the Owls and to my delight my perseverance and patience paid off.
In June of this year we happened to come across a pair of Little Owls, I could not believe it.. BUT not only just a pair, this pair had Owlets, two of them from what we could see. Well you can just imagine my excitement and joy..
I managed a few record shots that evening but the weather and light was rubbish, so I planed an early start the following day.. (at least I didn't have too far to travel) :-)

That night it was like Christmas for me, didn't hardly sleep a wink, I might as well of stayed up all night..
5.30am and I set off... at this stage I could only watch them from a distance as where they have nested was on farmers land so until I'd spoken to the landowner I kept my distance..
When I arrived I made myself comfy in Monty (our 4x4) and settled in, but it wasn't too long before the first Little Owl made an appearance.

I really can't describe what it is about Owls why I love them so much, they are such characters. Little Owls along with Barn Owls are my two favourite of all, nothing more precious then watching Barn Owls on the wing, if you want to put a smile on my face then show me a wild barn owl in flight and I'm happy as larry for the rest of the day ;-)

Back to my Little Owls, although quite a distance from them they knew i was there obviously but still very happy to come and go as they pleased, my presence didn't disturb them whatsoever..
I watched one of the adults fly about and hunt in the nearby field and it came back with a nice long worm, it landed on some concrete slabs and seemed to peer down the back of them...

It then proceeded to drop the worm down the back, obviously there was a Owlet down there, then sure enough a few minutes later an Owlet jumped out from the back of the blocks..

I must of had the largest grin on my face anyone has ever seen and still to this day even writing this now that smile creeps back on my face.. This is what wildlife photography is all about for me, its not even about the photography, Its all about the wildlife, when you get down to the nitty gritty its one to one with wildlife that truly makes my life complete..

The Owlet then swapped places with the Adult and sat looking around for a while, the nest was right above him and I hadn't actually seen the owlets fly very much.. It seemed like he was looking for ways to get back to the nest..

Then after a few minutes he decided to fly off to the fence..

He settled on the fence for a bit and then without warning flew off again towards the nest, not quite making the top but made it to the ledge not far from the nest. It looks like this was there routine of getting to the nest site..
meanwhile the Adult was sitting at the entrance being bothered by Rooks and Crows, at one point when the Adult had gone in the rooks clung onto the pole to see if they could get into the nest, thankfully I think they were too big, you can see my the image below the size difference with the Little Owl. Little Owls may live up to their name for being Little but what they lack in size they certainly gain in shall we say, that they are quite a brave, courageous and feisty little bird..

It does look as though the Owlets maybe have an emergency secret entrance or they have a little hiding place away from the Rooks..
I spent a good few hours with them that morning and have been keeping an eye on them ever since, the owlets have since fledged of course and were now left with the two adults. I've been checking on them a few times a week and just watching when I can, hopefully they will get through the winter okay and I'll be looking forward to them successfully having another brood next year...

I know these images may not be award winning spectacular shots and to be honest I'm not really bothered, as I said earlier its all about the wildlife for me and if I get some nice shots in the future by learning, watching and studying them then that's great..
Role on next spring... I'll keep you updated on their progress throughout next year hopefully..
Thank you again everyone for taking the time to read my blog, much appreciated.
Until the next time, take care all and wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year, Marie xx


Photo comment By Danny Jenks: Great blog Marie. Now that you know where they are you can build on that and maybe get closer shots.I know, like myself you don't like disturbing the birds,maybe a remote would help where your camera is placed nearby and set and you can then remain a safe distance away. I remember the story about the injured owl,you were gutted that it had to be finished and upset that people were telling you that you shouldn't be interfering with nature. You were not interfering -you were doing the right thing.

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