Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Egg guarding - 31 August

We can confirm that there is an egg in the nest. Pot PLant Owl guards the egg well during the day, and most of the evening too.

We expect a second egg in the next day or two.

I'll be joining all the live chats soon and really look forward to catching up with you all again!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pot Plant Owl nests! 30 August

30 August - we've just woken up to find Pot Plant Owl in her nest. She's alert and nervous. Any movement catches her attention as her head swivels from side to side.

The webcam will be up and running shortly - watch this space!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

25 August and any day now...

The wind has died down, and the owls returned to the balcony last night. More mess 'n fuss, but no PPO sitting on an egg when we woke this morning.

A comment was made about my use of the term 'infrared' light in yesterday's blog. I am not in charge of the lighting (thankfully! I am likely to do something dangerously wrong). Rest assured that people more adept with lighting have overseen the set up. Apparently, these lights are LED lights - not the heat generating lights as used in the medical field. As far as I am aware, Africam is pleased with the lighting that is ready to go on the nesting site. Hope that addresses any concerns.

Come on PPO - we are all waiting to see you again...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

23 August and windy city...

It's blowing gales outside. Dust is coming in under the doors; windows shudder alarmingly under the force of the wind. PPO's tree is bending like a reed, and I fear it will snap at any moment.

No sign of Pot Plant Owl or Pappa today. Wise move laying low now.

We tested the webcam and infrared light. Everything is working well. All we need now is some little owls to watch...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

21 August and the weather's getting warmer...

Like two sentinels, Pot Plant Owl and Pappa stood on either end of the neighbour's roof watching over the nest site. Still, silent outlines caught my eye as I drew the curtains closed. I watched them for a while at their guard post, neither one of them moving.

At this stage, the pot plant is still not a nest as Pot Plant Owl has not laid any eggs yet. It's a 'nest-in-waiting', and we are all anxious to be witness to the arrival of PPO's chicks.

Wish I could predict a date...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

15 Aug and what a mess!

I'm not happy. After hours of painstakingly scrubbing the balcony and tidying everything up for Pot Plant Owl's imminent arrival, the balcony looks like a bomb has hit it.

The mess created cannot be the result of two owls less than a kilogram each in weight. Oh no! This mess must surely have been created by a herd of elephants trampling everything in their path.

We woke this morning to find soil scattered all over the balcony floor. Twigs, leaves and small bones lay in disarray. Soil spilling out of all three pots.
If I didn't know better, I'd assume that Pot Plant Owl and Pappa had friends over last night for a party.

Looks like we have a spot of cleaning to do...grr

Just when we thought Spring had sprung, a cold snap moved in yesterday. This is likely to push back PPO's nesting 'schedule' a bit.

Monday, August 8, 2011

8 August and the balcony is ready...

Allan and I shed a few winter kilograms this weekend preparing the balcony for PPO's return. We scrubbed the railing, tidied the floor, dusted off Teeny's owl box and put up the netting that prevents the chicks from slipping through the railing gaps and falling two stories.

The result is an immaculate 'palace' for Pot Plant Owl that will rival any 5-star hotel in the world. And why, you may ask, would we go to all this trouble for owls that will only poop and pellet-drop all sorts of things onto the balcony? Simple. A woman likes a tidy house - Pot Plant Owl is no different. To prove the point, Pot Plant Owl arrived last night and promptly made scrapings in not one, not two, but three pot plants on the balcony. I believe it's her way of saying "Now that the place looks pretty again, let me test all the pot plants and see which one fits."

Of course we don't want to encourage any other nest apart from the original pot(potted) plant. It is by far the safest one - being on the garden side of the balcony as opposed to the driveway / road side of the far pot plants. Still, if it was easy to coax owls into 'safer' nesting areas, we would have already been successful when we attempted to offer PPO the owl box. The owl box remained untouched for a couple of years, and it was only Teeny last year who worked out how valuable it can be -especially in the rain.

Our winter this year is colder than usual, so I hope that PPO takes her time in nesting. I think September will be a better choice because we are still getting cold snaps now. Of course, now that I have put the message out there to not come in August, our sometimes stubborn PPO mother will take great delight in laying her eggs this week.

It's a waiting game at any rate. Fingers crossed that we have the priviledge again this year to play 'hosts' to these magnificent birds of prey.