Sunday, October 26, 2003

An unusual visitor

Last night while I was working at the computer I heard a noise at the window. Looking around, I saw a bird struggling to find a perch on the ledge of the office window. It didn't seem concerned about my presence so I moved closer to the window and saw it was a very small owl. I made a sqeeky noise with my lips and its head swivelled right around to look straight at me with its big yellow eyes. But it held its ground for maybe another minute as it surveyed the gravel car park and lawn in front of my studio, no doubt on the look out for food. It is welcome to all the rodents it can catch around here.

I am sure that this must be a Northern Saw-whet Owl from its small size. I checked out the structure of the vinyl window this morning and find it hard to believe that it found a foothold there.

This is my second encounter with a Saw-whet. The first was a few years ago at dusk when I was taking the dogs for a rather late walk. We were following a path I have hacked through the alders at the back of our house, and this owl was perched just above head height. Again I was surprised how tolerant it was of our presence, especially with four dogs running around. As we drew close it flew off down the path where it found another perch where it waited again until we got just that little bit too close.

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