27 December 2021
Yesterday evening . . .
The male spent most of yesterday on the window sill close to the female’s ‘spot’ under the overhang, moving onto the lower roof in the afternoon – where he first sheltered amongst the overhanging vegetation in the front corner. He was very restless – scratching and preening constantly and leaving a slew of moulted feathers in his wake. He then moved across to the female’s favourite spot under the overhang.
At 18:20 I glanced out of the kitchen window . . . and they were both together, sitting about 50 cm apart. They spent the next 35 minutes dozing together and then the male slipped off the wall and flew off to hunt. The female hung around for another 8 minutes before she also flew off into the park.
Both birds are moulting extensively and are now looking rather tatty. Interestingly, both are missing most of their tail feathers and I can’t say that I’ve noticed such extensive and rapid post-breeding moult in the owls before.
By Geoff Lockwood