I started work early again this morning (5.45am) and I have to say I was greatly rewarded for it.
I have been watching keenly an old Oak tree in the corner of the car park at the Golf Club where I work as I had discovered that a pair of Little Owls had had chicks in it. I've watched them flying back and forth feeding them with mice etc. I had a guess at where abouts the chicks were, in the under side of a large old branch of the tree where there was a tiny hollow, as this was where hissing noises were coming from.
Today I actually saw one of the parents jump down to it, so I moved in closer to take a look. That was when I heard a hissing from the hollow, but also from a different part of the tree... so I moved around the tree and kept trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. Finally, I saw a Little Owl chick on a large branch tugging away at what I can only guess was his breakfast. The little chick was I guess fairly old now as he looked more like an Owl than a ball of cotton wool. Quite tiny though with dark grey fluffy feathers. Very sweet looking down at me, then all of a sudden it got a bit excited flapping its wings about and stamping its feet and it was at this time I thought I'd better make a quick exit before the little thing jumped out of the tree. I'm glad to say it didn't.
I feel pleased to know at what stage they are at and that there is more than one. I also feel extremely privileged and lucky to have seen this tiny wonder in a natural setting and that it looks very healthy. I've been an acquaintence of the Little Owls since starting work at the Golf Club nearly 5 years now and it is the first time that I've seen them with offspring. I feel this has been my very own Springwatch moment.
Before I forget.... we have a number of birdboxes set up around the course and 2 of the birdboxes had kestrel chicks and these were 'ringed' on Sunday. I was going to go except it was torrential rain. Little did I know it would stop just in time. Here is an article from The Wiltshire Times if anyone is interested..... http://www.thisiswiltshire.co.uk/news/9078285.Watch_the_birdies_at_Cumberwell_Park_Golf_Course/
I have since been told by my boss that there is a birdbox up in an oak tree which contains 6 Barn Owl eggs, 3 of which he said had hatched but he got down quickly so as not to disturb the parents too much. They are going to be 'ringed' in a couple of weeks and I'm really hoping that I may get to witness this instead. Fingers crossed!
If I do I will of course take my camera. I shall endeavour to get a picture of the Little Owls also. Well I shall try!