I've not posted for a little while, but thats not for want nor trying.
I've had a couple of visits to my Little Owls, who are still going well, but I have invested well over 50 hours (so far) in what seems to be a fruitless task of trying to get back on board with my Barn Owls.
I've been multiple times to every one of my "known" sites, each time spending a good 2 or 3 hours waiting and often until it is dark, to just even confirm the owls are there, but no luck whatsoever.
I went out tonight to a prospective new site (again with no luck!), but it was a far more stressful visit than I'd have liked!
It started off well enough, with a lot of commotion overhead as I got out the car, and it was an odd-looking Buzzard being mobbed by Gulls, I still don't really know whats up with the buzzard (body shape) but if I find out, I'll report back!
As I entered into the 'new' Fobney Island wetland area, I saw a Heron fishing on the waters edge, he (or she) then took off and casually flew past me.
Now this is where it started to go a bit wrong... so stop reading if you're sensitive to less-than pleasant news.
Not everyone likes animals, it's the way of the world, I get that... but what I don't get is when you have an animal (pet) and then treat them with contempt - these people do not deserve to have the love and attention that animals give.
I won't post the details (although have notified the police), but I was heading towards a hide when I heard some shouting, some rather 'sharp' shouting, so I continued on to see what was up and across the far side of the river I saw a bloke there with his dog.... what he did I won't go into, but I was absolutely shocked, I sat across the river as he lit a fire, then continued with his low-life behaviour. I fired off some pictures so I had something to show the police if they wanted it (but didn't seem to want them), they did however say they'd send a unit out to see if he was still there, but the dog treatment was more a matter for the RSPCA.
Anyway, I will post a picture of the chap here, and you can make up your own mind :(
After the shocking 'human' behaviour, it seems my trauma was not over for the evening, as I headed back to my car, I found my way blocked by some over exuberant Swans... my initial thoughts were 'oh wow, they're mating', but it started to get a bit brutal and it was quite evident this was not a happy encounter.
I watched for 20 mins as these swans beat the daylights out of each other before the dominant one got the upper hand, pinned the other to the floor, then started biting the neck, feathers, legs, and then standing on him not allowing him to move.
The 'beaten one' clearly just wanted to escape, but each time was chased down and attacked again, I thought I was about to witness the rather graphic demise of this beautiful animal, so I decided to do exactly what you should NOT do, and try to break them up.
I can't say I was especially happy with trying to 'shoo' a bird that has a 10ft wingspan and can break human limbs, but I couldn't watch the other swan get beaten any more, 'natural behaviour' or not... they were not in the slightest bit intimidated by me, but after 'lunging' at them a couple of times, the weak one managed to break free and started running (quickly pursued) then managed to take flight and escape off to the river, whereby the other swans gave up and stayed on the lake.
I have a video of it too, but it probably should come with some parental guidance :|
After all that 'excitement', I did at least get a lovely sunset tonight!!