It looks as if our chicks have finally fledged. We woke this morning to find an empty balcony. Sitting on the far wall separating our neighbours' houses, we spot Teeny sitting with, we think, Jelani. The two of them look like peas in a pod, squashed together looking out over the gardens. Pappa has used the same spot before to watch the nest during the day. There is a large tree directly above the chicks, but instead of using the tree, the chicks seem content with the wall.
There's no sign of Indie or the parents. We suspect they are all across the road in a tree nearby.
The final chapter here will probably unfold tonight, when we see how Teeny manages flight from the wall. If Teeny succeeds in flying from the wall all the way up to the rooftop, I can't be certain we will see the chicks again. At this point, there will be no reason for them to stay in the immediate area. The parents will probably take them somewhere else to learn how to hunt. If Teeny doesn't make the rooftop, then we should have the chicks in our sights for another day or two.
Only time will tell now.
16h00 Central African Time: we've been watching Teeny and Jelani do a set of big wing flaps and stretches, as they grow restless on the wall. For most of the day, the chicks have been quite happy just to doz off. Now, it seems they want to play. The afternoon has been warmer and the sun has shone for the first time in a couple of days. With the rains and now the warmer weather, there are a great number of flying insects about. Of course, this sight is met by the chicks with much excitement and anticipation - food, glorious food is everywhere! Even from where we watch, we can see their eager facial expressions as they watch the insects fly past. Now if Teeny and Jelani were a little older / wiser, they would have started catching them for themselves. I bet if Indie was around, he / she would be pouncing and attacking everything that moved.
I think tonight will be quite exciting watching them 'hunt' these insects.
18h40: Teeny and Jelani are getting restless on the wall. Soon Jeli flies down to the grass, and starts hunting for insects. Teeny joins Jeli for a while, but isn't putting as much effort into its own hunting as Teeny is into hissing. Some things never change.
Soon, the rest of the family appear. It's a special moment watching all 5 owls in the immediate area. Teeny gets back on the wall, and suddenly takes off in the direction of the neighbour's roof. We watch Teeny and wait to see what happens next.
Teeny puts all its effort into the flight, and makes it onto the balcony - still a fantastic feat, and a decent height increase for Teeny to fly. Well done, Teeny!
For a while, we watch as the Jelani and Teeny are joined by Indie, and together, the three chicks hunt on the lawns of the neighbouring houses. Pot Plant Owl and Pappa are off hunting somewhere.
Just before going to sleep, Allan and I venture outside and everything is calm. No owls in sight and no hissing from the chicks. I think the time has come to say goodbye.