Monday, August 30, 2010

Monday 30 August

I feel sorry for Pot Plant Owl today. We have builders grinding and cutting things, making a lot of dust and noise.

In addition, the branches that we tied up last night have fallen down sideways - straight into PPO's face. She's spent the day squinting through leaves - looking mildly irritated.

I put some more work into the 'hide' - securing the cardboard and filling up gaps. Now at least Pot Plant Owl can't see our bodies at all from the hide.

Pappa's very audible - hooting loudly from far away. I'd love to measure how big their territory is. From the hooting that becomnes louder as he approaches the nest, it appears that the territory stretches for hundreds of metres.

Haven't seen another egg - I think 3 is it.

Sunday 29 August

It's getting warmer now and the new tree isn't providing much shade. Al and I decide to 'make' more shade for her. We cut branches off trees downstairs, tied them together, and decided to secure them close to the nest for extra shade during the day.

The problem, of course, is getting the owls to agree to us working close to the nest.

No sooner have we opened the balcony door, Pappa is there - sitting directly above our heads on the roof. He stares at us, and then at his eggs in the nest. I look up at him and talk softly to him, then look away again - as a sign of non-aggression. Al doesn't think we should try to secure the branches, but I sense that Pappa won't attack us.

Under the protection of an umbrella, we edge out onto the balcony, taking the branches with us. We watch Pappa closely but he doesn't seem too concerned when he sees what we are doing. It only takes a minute to secure the branches, but feels like much longer.

Pot Plant Owl is spitting that we are working near her nest. She flies around in an angry / flustered state - probably also upset that Pappa didn't attack us when he was right there. Still, she calms down as soon as we close the balcony door. Within a few minutes, she flies back to her nest to check on everything.

We'll see tomorrow if the branches help her.

Saturday 28 August

Throughout the day, the male owl (Pappa) calls to Pot Plant Owl sitting on the nest, to let her know he is watching the nest, I suspect.

When he appears at night, he spends a long time calling on the rooftop before going off to hunt for her. It's incredible to think that he is responsible for not only his food, but hers as well now.

We tend to only think of 'Poor Pot Plant Owl' having to sit there all day, every day, but give little thought to Pappa. Pappa is out there re-establishing his territory with his calling, watching the nest during the day, and hunting for both of them. He's also flying father now to get food, because once the hungry chicks arrive, they will look at the food sources closer to the nest.

He's doing a great job.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday 26 August

The Ficus tree we had in the pot plant 'nest' was hit by black frost this winter, so we replaced it. Pot Plant Owl has changed positions in the nest because of this new tree.

Today I found her almost lying on her side in the nest - it looked very funny and not disimilar to the way the chicks used to lie on their backs.

Tonight we heard a chorus of frogs croaking - the first we've heard of them since the wetland was destroyed. Pappa added to the noise with constant hooting for what seemed like hours.

Pot Plant Owl left the nest for a short period and was back lying on her eggs again.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wednesday 25 August

Three eggs now - let's hope this is it. I can't imagine what the balcony floor will be like with more than 3 chicks playing the fool.

I've left my old pair of sandles there. Last year, the sandles were a firm favourite with the chicks who used them to sleep on, chew when bored, and slide on when the rains came and the floor was wet. Very entertaining to watch!

Tuesday 24 August

So, under no protection whatsoever, I take the plunge and head out onto the balcony to water the plants. We've had no rain for months now. All the plants are taking strain now that the days are starting to warm up.

Pot Plant Owl watches me from the rooftop nearby. She lets me water the two far pot plants, but as soon as I get near her nest, she starts shifting her weight from one foot to the other. (Ever heard of the expression "hopping mad"?)

I got as far as one jug poured carefully into the pot, the furtherest corner from the eggs. My proximity to the nest becomes too much for our Pot Plant Owl.

I look up and can't see her on the roof, and I know she's heading straight towards me with lightning speed. I shot back inside - narrowly missing her powerful talons connecting with my head.

Next time, it's someone else's turn.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday 22 August

So far so good with crows in the area. Last year at this time, crows tried attacking both the nest and Pappa's roosting spot - in an attempt to get at the eggs. Thus far, we haven't had the crow visitors.

On Thursday, my friends gathered in our garden for an outdoor Boot Camp session. Unbeknown to us initially, the male (Pappa) had moved from his roosting spot over the road onto our garden wall. You can imagine how bewildered he looked when he saw us doing pushups and crunches. He hid behind a tree branch and watched the whole session. Wonder what he was thinking...

Friday 20 August 2010

Pot Plant Owl appears quite relaxed in her 'nest' again.

Black frost hit the ficus tree in the pot plant nest hard this Winter, and we had to replace the tree. Pot Plant Owl appears to have accepted the new Yellow wood tree in her pot, although she has changed position in the pot plant because of it.

This evening when she left the nest, we found a second egg.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

August 2010

Its Monday, 16th August 2010. After 6 weeks of constant calling on the balcony with lots of mating, I have laid the first egg of my 3rd season.