I’m back! Just in case any of you were getting ‘blog withdrawal’ symptoms after my day without blogging!
I enjoyed my day off/birthday yesterday, went through to Edinburgh for the day and visited the zoo in the afternoon. This is kind of a ‘busman’s holiday’ for me I know, but as they have no owls at the zoo I’m there to enjoy looking at other animals and birds. I saw the Pandas again, and again they were asleep! I did look over their enclosures with a critical eye though, thinking about the good tips I could pick up for enclosures at the owl centre. On my wanders around Edinburgh in the morning though I found a statue to native born philosopher David Hume, albeit with the obligatory traffic cone adornment. In the cemetery in Calton Hill I found his mausoleum. I am reminded of one of my favourite quotes of his;
To which, I consider myself a rich man indeed.
Back at work today I found that the sickly Long-eared Owl is still with us, with a surprising amount of strength and energy, a lot of life in the old girl yet. We are evaluating her condition daily and daily making a decision whether to take her to the local vets.
Over at the Great Horned Owl aviary the two owlets are growing so fast you can almost see them getting bigger by the day. With the spells of warm sunshine today the female felt able to leave the nest to take a break, with the owlets now big enough and downy enough to keep warm without her in the good weather.
No sign of owlets next door in the Ural Owl aviary though. There may be, or may not be, we will just have to be patient and watch what happens.
Other good news for the breeding season is that the White Faced Owl female is still in the nest box and now counted as nesting. As with the other owls I’m now counting on the calendar for when to estimate their hatch date. These owls are great and their owlets are cute and fun to see when they fledge – just don’t get between parent and young, they have no respect for how much bigger than them you may be, they protect their babies!
Today’s mystery lies in the Mottled Owl nest box, literally. There has been one of these owls in the nestbox for the best part of a month now, but it (presumably the female) has always been standing up rather than lying down on eggs. Today I could barely see the top of her head as she lay so low down. If she is really breeding she will still be lying like this another full day or two before I’ll believe that they are breeding. They have been playing at it for so long, and I’ve never seen this species breed before, I’ll need some good convincing before I write them on the list with those breeding.
We’re getting a good number of volunteers coming through the centre lately. Once everyone is trained up to speed the place will just be jumping, and I’m sure we’ll all have a good time along the way. I enjoy interacting with people as well as the birds so this is just perfect.
As I sign off for this blog, I leave you with a pic from the birthday surprise that was sprung on me at work – cake, candles, song, the works! Gnite!