Wednesday Wings: It’s a Hoot!

There have been multiple exasperated conversations here about how wildlife, especially birds, refuse to cooperate with our attempts to get pictures. I swear that there is a memo going around when I leave the house as to whether I carry a camera or not. Last week was no exception. On Monday, when we had our friends over, I took my camera for the walk. I also took many pics the days before, the ones posted on Saturday, so I left the camera at home on Tuesday. When we arrived at our fountain we took a small break and sat down. I looked up at the old willow tree and was like “This branch looks strange. It is fluffy. It also wasn’t there yesterday and trees don’t grow thick, short, fluffy branches over night.” I took a closer look and it turned out to be a young owl, drowsing there in the branches of the willow.

I was so fucking angry. This was the first time in my life that I saw a wild owl. Oh I hear them almost every night, no problem, but seeing them? Only at the zoo. And no camera but the crappy phones.I told Mr “I’m going back and I’m going to get the camera and heaven help this owl if it is no longer there!”

So that’s what I did. 1 km back home, 1 km  back to the fountain, so about half an hour later I was there again and of course the owl had moved! But only a few metres and it was actually two owls. Back home I tried to identify them and my most likely guess is a tawny owl, since they’re also the ones I keep hearing, but honestly the pics I found all look very much alike.

To cut a long story short, I saw owls and here’s the evidence:

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved
Can you spot them both?

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved Look at those feet!

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved
Probably my favourite one

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved

©Giliell, all rights reserved


  1. voyager says

    Thanks for all the hiking, Giliell. Those are amazing photos. I’ve never seen a wild owl, either. These 2 are adorable.

  2. rq says

    My system cannot handle this much fluff in one post. They are so cute! And fierce! Third pose is my fave.
    I’ve seen a wild owl in the wild, but usually at that dusky point where there’s really no point in trying for a photo in the circumstances.

  3. voyager says

    I was looking at these photos again (they’re irresistible) and did a double take when I finally looked down and saw the size of its talons. Those are some powerful weapons.

  4. Jazzlet says

    Wow! Lovely shots, I like the “What are you doing?” look of the one you’ve labelled ‘Hoot?’ best.

    I’ve seen owls flying at dusk a few times. Once Biggest Bro who (along with Little Bro) is a keen orithologist was staying with us one time and insisted we go out to a local park where there was a winter roost of one particular kind of owl -- long eared owls perhaps? Well we found roughly where they must be, you could tell we were in the right place as there was a patch of the grass worn almost through where other birders had obviously stood and watched the owls, so we stood and looked, and looked, and looked, but we couldn’t find them. Luckily we met someone who knew where the owls were and he showed us the large hawthorn bush (that we had looked at) with nine adults perching in it’s branches! They were so well camouflaged we’d looked right at them and not seen them. Thank you for reminding me of that, it was pretty special.

  5. springa73 says

    Wonderful photos -- some of the best owl pics I’ve ever seen! I don’t think I’ve ever seen an owl that clearly in person.

  6. Ice Swimmer says

    Cute with serious claws.

    I’ve never seen a juvenile one in the wild. The adults that I’ve seen have been both eagle-owls, in Helsinki (in Kallio, which is an urban, hipster-rich area).

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