Tuesday, May 1, 2012

1 May and activity starts in the pot

It's been a while since I last wrote in my blog. Since I last wrote, I visited Houston, MN's "International Festival of Owls" to collect PPO's Lady Gray'l Award. A lot about the festival was written on the PPO Facebook pages but I forgot to post the updates in the blog - apologies! I'll cut and paste information to other posts for those who'd like to hear about the festival - it was amazing! Well, here we are at the start of the colder season in South Africa. May usually begins with a very cold spell - a sign for us to haul out the extra blankets and jackets. Today, however, feels like spring - no, in fact summer. And because of this inconsistency in the weather, we are getting frequent visits from Pappa and Pot Plant Owl - two or three times a night, lots of mating calls and of course the scraping in the pot plant. At the moment, they are using the far pot plant on the balcony, but hopefully they switch to the usual one come nesting time. I think we may well see an earlier breeding season this year, should this warmer weather continue. Other Spotted Eagle Owls have been known to have chicks in Johannesburg and surrounds in June and July, so perhaps PPO will join them for an earlier season this year. Other news is that we've got a rescue Border Collie puppy who's now approx 7 months old. His name is Destin and he was found emancipated with layers of burns all over his tiny body (hot oil or boiling water was thrown over him). We've had him now for a few weeks and he's doing well. Pappa has seen Destin - not sure if PPO has met him yet. Destin tends to stay indoors at night and has seen the owls but isn't concerned with them - unlike old 'Yaps' from next door. Come breeding season, Destin will spend a lot of time with our family who live close by, so that Pappa doesn't feel the need to target practice him, and Destin doesn't 'play' with any roaming chicks. So far, so good. And if the recent activities on the balcony are anything to go by, neither human nor puppy will deter the owls from nesting on the balcony - fingers crossed!