2013 dawned bright and clear for a change after the weeks of rain that we’ve had recently! We were staying with family in the village of Compton Dando in Somerset and opted to go dog-walking to make the most of the sunshine. As we weren’t dressed for ‘bog-snorkling’ (the countryside is still extremely muddy at the moment) we stuck to the roads round the village. Liz, owner of Merry & Pippin – the dogs we were walking, suggested that if we kept the noise down as we approached an old electricity sub-station and watched a gap in the roof tiles we might see the resident Little Owl and, sure enough, there he was!
I did a quick sketch of the Little Owl when we got back. As the smallest of the owls in the UK they are quite often seen during daylight and they squeak rather than hoot. They are probably the most numerous of our owls although the RSPB suggests their numbers are in sharp decline (down 24% between 1995 and 2008). They do seem to be rather skilled at adapting to human habitation though and the one in Compton Dando will certainly have a ready band of defenders should anyone suggest knocking down the sub-station he’s made his home!