March 24, 2011
AM, T=65, cloudy, dead calm; mild cold front is due to get here mid morning.
Male trilling from the driveway at 1:30am, 4:30am.
6:30am, M in the crepe myrtle, giving shortened trills; F must be close by
7:10am, drawn by quiet but insistent sounds of upset birds, I located the M in the crepe myrtle, chittering at his tormentors. But there is also chittering from somewhere up in the hackberry; F is up there somewhere. There were half a dozen jays, silent but swooping close; the M finally spooked and made a dash to the nestbox. As it got lighter, and in spite of the jays still bombing the box, the M made a U-turn out of the box and straight to the Computer oak. He was unsuccessful at escaping notice, though. The jays got tired and went off to bug something else, but their place was taken by a pair of insistent and angry Carolina wrens. That brought a cardinal and a bulbul, plus the hysterical note of a robin. Poor guy; at some point during the next hour he shifted to the denser cover of the cherry laurel across the driveway.
Still there at evening owl time.
PM, T=71F at 8pm, cloudy
3:30pm; One low trill from the M, outside the window.
8:03pm, An owl flew south through the Gap, headed for the Prius branch and at 8:05pm a second owl followed. The next minute we heard the distinctive chittering sound which typically follows mating. The owls were in the dark foliage of the cherry laurel.
At 8:08pm, one of them flew to the Honda branch, made a slow bug-catching pass over the roof of our house and returned to the area of the Prius branch.
Shortly after the male owl flew to nest box, entered, and began a protracted session of box calls and monotonic trills. It didn’t work as well as last night, as the F flew to the Boy box instead and sat in the entrance, apparently listening to the male’s song. After 2 minutes, she flew to the nest box, perched briefly on the external perch, and then flew off towards E’s back yard.
March 24, 2011