An owl show
My wife Emily and I really wanted to see some owls in the area. In the spring and summer period of 2022, we were spoiled. In a short timespan, we found owls in three different places. A couple of them really close to our home.
Chapter 1: The cutestWe were driving somewhere and talked about little owls and the fact that they can be seen during the late afternoon and early evening. The words were barely out of our mouths when we saw a little owl on the side of the road. It was a bit far away but we could still see it.
A little owl, bathing in the last sunlight.
Little owl, waiting for us to go.
This wasn't the greatest light, we came back a couple of times, but to no avail. When we found more little owls much closer to home, we decided to leave it at that.
Chapter 2: More cuties, close to homeThe next time, the story was very similar. We were on a short walk at the end of the day. I was looking at a barn next us and told Emily that it might be a good spot for little owls. And just like previously, the words were barely out of my mouth when we saw a little owl flying away from the side of the barn.
We came back next day to find a couple of them again.
Ready for a night of hunting!
Enjoying the last sunlight, staring at us.
We came back a couple of times to see them. They were always there, waking up and flying around. A real pleasure to be able to watch them so close to home.
Chapter 3: Multiple species, but no (good) picturesBetween these encounters, we also spotted some owls in the area that are real night owls. It was always a challenge to get any picture of them to even identify them later on, however with just your eyes, it was possible to see which species they were.
Long-eared owl, looking at it's next meal.
All shot on iPhone, all pretty dark... In real life they were much more visible, at this point, you just put your phone away and enjoy the moment.
Chapter 4: Beyond our dreamsLater on, we heard about a couple of short eared owls that were spotted near the coast. We headed to the 'Uitkerkse polders' to have a look for ourselves...
Short-eared owl hunting.
As soon as we arrived, we saw the owls everywhere. They were hunting, flying around, sitting on the ground. It was a real pleasure to see them so closely. We were able to get some good pictures of them, but the best part was just watching them. Especially the hunting part was really interesting to watch.
scanning the grass,
looking for prey.
The competition was fierce, because there were over 10 owls at the moment. When they were able to get a mouse, they ate it as fast as possible. There was also regular fighting between the owls, which was also breathtaking to watch.
Trying to get the upperhand.
These beautiful owls were a real treat to see. We went back a week later, but there were a lot more people and a lot less owls. We were lucky to see them in all their glory in the first week.
Please! I'm not a mouse.
Owls are wonderful creatures! If you have any interest in birds, start looking around. You can find them everywhere, even in your own backyard. You can certainly hear their calls at night. The are often not that shy, but they are very good at hiding. So if you see one, you are very lucky.