It has been a torturous twenty-eight days since I heard Daphne yelling at Simon from inside the tree. It’s been seventeen days since I’ve seen an owl. And while I heard them calling at each other a couple of days ago, I had no proof they were still in residence working on a family, and I’ve been worried. After all, it was four years ago this week that Henrietta abandoned her second egg and moved out. I know it happens.
Then tonight I was getting ready to go to bed and I heard hoots. I bolted out the back door to see if I could place the source of the hooting and I could indeed. In fact, I got there just in time to see an owl swoop in from my left, and then an owl swoop out to my right — either a handover or one owl doing a clumsy landing attempt. A few minutes later, an owl did a fly-by. But somebody is definitely in the tree.
Facebook memories have demonstrated to me that there was an owl visiting that tree in 2011. We didn’t observe an owlet until Trolley in 2015. I wonder if Ecks and Henrietta had four or five years of nesting sneakily and just got used to our movements and didn’t make such an effort to hide any more? And Daphne and Simon, as goosey new parents, are being much more careful.
For starters. We’ll win them over.
Here’s a picture of tonight and some hoots, edited to remove car noises.