Thursday, March 31, 2011

30 March

We woke this morning to find a mess on the balcony floor - this time around the other pot plant. It seems that Pot Plant Owl is not listening to any advice about using the 'Original' pot, and is going to do her own thing.

An update on the wetland that needs rehabilitating: The consultant hired by the developer to provide the Basic Assessment Report for the proposed development on this delineated wetland, has been reading my blog. In fact, my blog and the link to the petition that a lot of you signed, was mentioned by this consultant in the Basic Assessment Report(BAR).

This is all good news, because it shows to the consultant / the developer that we are not alone in being against developments in wetlands. The developer has another site he is developing less than 1km away from this wetland, and we have said nothing at all about it.

Tomorrow is the deadline for the BAR to be lodged at the Government Department that will make the decision to approve or reject the application. I believe the Government has a month to decide(?) and from there, we will see what happens next.

What is encouraging, is knowing that the consultant and perhaps even the developer and the rest of his project team, are taking the time to familiarise themselves with our website. What does this mean? That they are monitoring public opinion? That they are monitoring my ramblings in case I say something that they deem not to be accurate about them / the development?

Whatever the reason, I welcome you all to read, and perhaps learn from the responses given by many people, that developments have their place - but not in wetlands.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Place your bets - 21 March

A few more sightings of Pot Plant Owl and Pappa, and we hear them a lot, especially in the wee hours of the morning. Pot Plant Owl still scrapes in both pot plants, so there's more soil for us to pick up in the morning. Given the unusual behaviour of PPO in choosing her nest this year, I think we should have a friendly wager on which pot she chooses, and more importantly, WHY. You can leave your vote in the comments section of this blog. Who knows! We might even throw in a prize for the best answer. Photos of each pot plant will be uploaded in the next few days. To make it easier for you, I'm going to include the Pros and Cons of each potential pot plant nest (what a tongue twister!). I'll keep updating when / if I see PPO's behaviour change. The nest that we know already will be called "Original" and the other choice of nest will be "The Imposter". Okay no, just kidding. Let's call it "New Crib". Here are some Pros and Cons for each one: Original Pros - The original, the one, the only! Closer to our garden and less of a drop if a chick falls off the balcony (it has happened!). Perfect view for webcam to go up close and zoom out when needed Cons - Lack of shade / protection from the tree in the container New Crib Pros - "Variety is the spice of Life". The smaller bush provides more shade and protection for PPO when she sits on the eggs Cons - The smaller bush will take up valuable space and there will be no room for chicks. Alternatively, the chicks will make their own room by trampling the bush If PPO can't decide which pot plant to choose, maybe we can help choose it for her.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

22 March and another sleepless night...

Last night PPO and Pappa visited us early in the evening. Pappa was very vocal - perhaps wanting to prove that this is his spot. After the first 30 minutes of constant loud hooting, I think everyone in the 'hood got the message. (To continue on for another 30 minutes, Pappa, was a bit much).

And just when we thought that the vocalisation early in the evening would translate to a quiet pre-dawn period, we were rudely woken by Pot Plant Owl on the balcony. She proceeded to scratch in the soil, and hoot, and scratch again in the soil. This pattern continued on for a long time - all the while I lay still with my eyes shut, trying to force sleep. Eventually I gave up, and lay awake listening to PPO's 'mutterings'.

The period we are going through at the moment happens every year. When the owl family leaves us for greener pastures, we have weeks, sometimes months, of quiet nights. Nothing disturbs our sleep, and certainly no owls. When the owls return to check on the balcony in the pre-mating season, we have to 'acclimatise' again to their noises and movements. At this time, sleep is fitful and hard to come by.

When we got up this morning, we were greeted by a fine mess on the balcony floor below both pot plants again.

I honestly wonder what she is up to...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

22 March - and we have activity...

Back again, and Hi All!

After a long wait, and not much to report, I can finally begin again to provide more regular updates on Pot Plant Owl and Pappa. For weeks, we've been monitoring the skies and rooftops - occasionally seeing one or both of the owls. But it hasn't been until this past couple of weeks that we have had lengthy visits to the balcony.

Here's what been happening...

In typical female fashion, PPO has decided to do a spot of 'home redecorating'. In her infinite wisdom (she is an owl, after all), she has decided to prepare not one, but two, pot plants for her nest. A few times we have woken to find soil on the balcony floor by both pot plants, and there's been a distinct scraping in both pot plants. She seems to be preparing her original nest, and the far pot plant, that is closest to the webcam from last season.

Why PPO is doing this, only she can answer!
Has this happened before? No, but there's always a first time as we are learning.
Do we think she'll choose the other pot plant as her nest? Honestly can't say at this point. It appears to be the one she is favouring based on the size of the scraping.

Personally, I'd be happy if she stayed with the same pot plant. It is further away from the neighbour's driveway and a new swimming pool, which may present problems for little inquisitive chicks.