Stanley Park Owls - Observations
As mentioned in the introduction, the original intent of the separate website was to document my experiences with the owls of this park. That was over ambitious and I only created a few pages for the original site (despite having more extensive records). In merging the content of that site to this section of my photography site I did not want to lose what pages I had yet do not have the time to expand with further data. So the compromise is to copy the old data (almost) as-is to this page.
Only three years have any remaining content - 1996, 1997 and 2009. Just summary information for the first two years, with more information for 2009 but cut short just as things got interesting! 2009 was also a year that I saw both Great Horned and Saw-whet owls in addition to the usual Barred.
Because of the merging of multiple old pages into just this one you may need to scroll a lot!
This was the first year that I saw and photographed Barred Owls in Stanley Park.
I was not yet really aware of owls in the park, so I probably missed much. It is also possible that there were fewer Barred Owls in the park at that time - the species is expanding its range, after all. I did not even know if they were breeding here - almost certainly they were.
This photo (of an adult) was taken in August, near the Stone Bridge at Lost Lagoon. My only other recorded sighting, also in August, was from the Lovers Trail on the way from Third Beach to Lost Lagoon. An area which I now know to be a favourite for them. I probably had more sightings, but my notebook was used primarily to record photographic information (pre-digital era), so no photo means no notes (except for extreme rarities).
I actually have no photographic records for owls in the park for this year. However, I did see one on a street in the West End.
October 22, I was walking home across the West End (from a photographic store on Robson to my home on Pacific). Because of a road closure I had to divert by one street and I was not happy about it. Until, on the diversion route I found a Barred Owl roosting. Apparently it had been there all day. I rushed home to get my (film) camera, 300mm lens and a monopod. It was still there upon my return - hence this photo. I did not use flash because I was uncertain of the reaction that the owl might have - startle, fly away? I now know that they are quite tolerant of flash.
February 27th - nesting activity has begun!
March 15th - more evidence of nesting and hunting activity.
March 21st - Saw-whet Owl released.
March 22nd - More nesting activity - north this time.
March 31st and April 2nd - Nesting activity in the eastern territory.
May 4th and 5th - activity seen at last year's western site - we may have four active nests!
During January, there were only a few opportunities for me to observe owls.
There were continued sightings of owls around the Stone Bridge area at the western end of Lost Lagoon. I suspect that the hunting is good in that area because of humans leaving food out for the Racoons - what the racoons miss the rats will come out for and owls "like" rats!
I took several photos over the month - nothing unusual, but I may add one in here as time permits. I only ever saw one owl, but heard calls that probably came from more than one individual at a time.
Early February - occasional sightings, one death
As for January, I only managed to get into the park early evenings - about as far as the Stone Bridge. but I was checking some of their usual haunts from time to time, as well as scouting out possible habitat for the Eastern pair.
At the Bridge I did hear multiple calls one day and actually saw two owls flying around together, calling on another occasion. I will add in more details at a later date (if ongoing owl activities leave me any time).
On the 14th I had news of a death. Some time in the previous week Park workers found a dead Barred Owl near Prospect Point. The body was passed on to the Ecology Society. It was not banded - so it is not the young owl released in the area last last Summer. No obvious cause of death was determined. It could have been one of the Northern Territory pair (but they have since been sighted), but was most likely a "floater" from another area.
On the 21st the Ecology Society presented a "Stanley Park Owl Prowl" with Al Grass. This was an indoor presentation on the owls of British Columbia followed by a prowl to Beaver Lake. It was fully booked and very informative. Unfortunately no owls presented themselves during the prowl. Given that this is the heart of the Eastern pair's territory, we had high hopes of a Barred Owl sighting.
February 27 - nesting under way?
Just after sunset today I heard a couple of single "who" calls from a trail in the eastern/central area of the Southern pair's territory. The source was so close that I could quickly locate them and then observed them grooming each other. Then one of the owls flew a short distance south towards a blow-down area, prior to flying further away and out of sight. The remaining owl then flew north-west to a large tree with a fork and disappeared into a (presumed) cavity. It made a few appearances in the fork before the light finally failed and I could no longer see it.
If this is the southern pair then they have moved quite a distance from last year's nest site which was towards the west of their territory. Update: this was a new pair!
It is possible that the calls I head were made by the male to inform his mate that he was nearby, thus enticing her to meet for the grooming. It is also possible that I missed an exchange of food - typically the male brings food in such circumstances.
February 28 - more activity at the Southern site
Being a Saturday, I was able to get out late morning to have a look around the potential new nest site. It is in a well travelled area, so I do have some concerns about the birds safety (I will not reveal the site here). I did not see activity at the nest tree, but I did hear crows nearby - leading me to an owl in a nearby clearing. This area is one of many in the park where people feed peanuts to squirrels (and crows). The owl was being mobbed by the crows (some even made contact). After a while the owl flew a short distance away and waited for the crows to leave. Though, first it chased one crow - the only crow that had picked up a peanut!
The crows did leave and the owl returned to the clearing and began watching squirrels (the crows returned occasionally, at first). Over the next couple of hours several people came by, including a nature tour. During this time the owl made occasional swoops on Douglas Squirrels - including at least one classic scenario whereby the squirrel would spiral round (usually down) a tree while the owl flew in a matching spiral. It did not chase any of the Grey Squirrels present.
A while later, standing near a tree with peanut shells at its base I watched (with 2 human visitors) while a grey squirrel climbed the tree immediately below the owl and they just stared at each other. Shortly after that another grey appeared on the tree just at my right. The owl watched it but did nothing. However, when a douglas did the same thing the owl immediately flew towards us. It passed the tree on the other side and they then both spiraled down with the owl almost touching me from somewhere behind. The squirrel had disappeared into a hole at the base of the tree. At no time did any of us feel threatened by the owl, which then flew into another tree.
I returned to the site in the evening (just before sunset) to find one owl sitting at the cavity entrance. Shortly after sunset it flew to a branch of the tree just in front of the cavity and about ten minutes later flew over my head and into a dark tree. Some time later there was a full call of "who cooks for you" from that area and soon after the owl flew further away.
A further set of two single "whos" led me to an owl (probably the mate, not the one I had just watched). Now in darkness I watched this owl for a while until we were both distracted by something off the trail behind and to my right. From the sounds I just assumed it to be a racoon or such making its way through the bush. The I caught sight of something in the water under the bushes - it was the other owl bathing...
This owl (probably the female I had seen earlier leaving the cavity) finished its leisurely bathing then flew past me to join its mate. They sat on opposite sides of the trail for a while before one flew back past me in the direction of the cavity tree. I did see an owl above the back of the "pool" - this owl did not look wet - the male? The light had now failed completely, so I left the owls to begin their "day" in peace.
It would be interesting to keep a watch on the nest location from last year for the Southern pair - at the same time of day (evening). This would let us determine if it is indeed the same pair. If there is activity at that (old) site, then we may have a 4th breeding pair in the park. I believe this to be unlikely, but then the books all say that there is only room for one breeding pair in an area the size of Stanley Park. Update: it was a new pair (but sadly short lived).
- This month saw great activity at the Southern nest site for the Barred Owls.
- The Northern pair have returned to last year's site.
- The Eastern (potential) nest site is finally showing some promise.
- A rehabilitated Saw-whet Owl was released in the park.
- A Great Horned Owl was seen hunting near Second Beach
March 2 - activity continues at the Southern site
This evening I returned to the new nest site with another volunteer/enthusiast - to show her the location. Once again there was lots of activity, with the adults sitting together, calling extensively (I did get a poor quality audio recording).
Both adults visited the cavity (see above at join of trunks) and returned there after the calling. Later one adult left and made a couple of short calls near the location of the bathing two days ago. It was still in that location when we left about 45 minutes after sunset.
March 3 - quiet at the Northern site, more Southern action
Tonight I visited last year's nest site for the Northern pair. I timed this to match the active time around dusk for the Southern pair. I saw and heard nothing. It is possible that they have also moved home for this year - or were just quiet. In previous years I have observed them to be less vocal than the southerners.
While I was at that site, Monica (another owl enthusiast) was monitoring the new southern site. She observed similar action to that of the previous night - owls calling and both seen flying near the nest tree.
March 4 - first check of Eastern site, all sites quiet
Tonight I visited the territory of the Eastern pair (close to Beaver Lake). I timed this to match the active time around dusk for the Southern pair. I saw and heard nothing.
While I was at that site, Monica was once again monitoring the new southern site. This time she saw and heard nothing, except one possible "who" call just as she was leaving.
Today's weather was cloudy and there were the occasional drops of rain - the other days had been generally clear. It is possible that weather is a factor in their timings of activity.
March 5 - Southern site activity continues
Tonight I planned to visit the site of the Southern pair's nest from last year. I passed through the new territory on my way and was treated to a full vocal exchange between the pair. One adult on the trail near me and the other one somewhere to the south.
I then spent some time at the old site - no activity there. I had to leave early to attend a Nature Vancouver presentation by Paul Bannick of his new book "The Owl and The Woodpecker" - an excellent book and presentation (see references page).
March 6 - Southern site moving again?
A somewhat later arrival at the site tonight (I seem to have picked up a cold). Once again I found an owl sitting in a tree next to the trail in what has become the usual location. After a while I saw the other owl flying to the south and this owl flew off to join it. I then realized that they were at another potential nest site.
This site has two potential cavities and I observed one owl fly in to the lower one (see above) with calling from inside. After a while the other joined it in the cavity. By now light was failing but I did see more activity around this tree. It seems as though they may still be "house hunting" - in which case I feel that this would be a safer site for them. It is only just visible from trails.
March 7 - Southern site visited
Tonight I visited the southern site again, but saw no activity at either of the potential nest sites. I did hear one call from the general area. A relatively short visit. I had hoped for more calling as I now have a better (external) microphone for my note taker. The cold continues.
March 11 - Southern site visited
Tonight was the first night that my cold (virus, or whatever it is) allowed me to get out again. I visited the southern site, briefly, at the usual time around dusk. I did not see any owls but I did find a pellet with large bones and many crow feathers under one of the owls usual perches. While I was retrieving the pellet I heard one owl call nearby and a response from another - this made a rough triangle formed by the two possible nest sites and the more distant owl.
March 12 - Southern site visited - some hunting
I arrived at the site about an hour before sunset and found no activity. Around sunset I finally located one owl to the west, further up Tatlow trail in the direction of last year's site. I watched it for about forty minutes as it watched passers by (mostly they were unaware of the owl, as usual). As the light failed it became more interested in squirrels, but made no move. Then it made a quick dive into the bushes at the trail edge, flew up briefly into another tree before flying northwards across the trail. It was only upon examining the photo I took in its brief pause did I realize it had caught a thrush.
Just as the owl departed, Monica (another owl fanatic) arrived. It turned out that she had been watching an owl for about two hours at the junction of Bridle and Lake trails just to the north. This was roughly the direction in which "my" owl flew off. Her owl had departed (direction unknown) about five minutes earlier. It is possible that they were mates, or more likely that it was the male from the Northern territory, or even the Eastern. That area has in previous years been well inside the Northern pair's home range.
March 13 - Southern site active, checked Northern (brief)
An owl was once again seen perched in front of the nest tree. After a while it flew into a nearby tree where it remained until well after sunset. Monica also turned up tonight, so I left her watching the southern site and had a brief check of the Lake/Bridle junction and then on past last year's Northern nest tree. I did not see activity in either area and returned to watch the Southern site until light failed.
March 14 - Southern site - daylight hunting
Being a Saturday and with my cold firmly in retreat I was able to visit the site by mid morning - much as I had 2 weeks earlier. After a week of sunshine the weather had turned cloudy and rain or even snow was forecast. Fortunately the morning was clear of either. Monica was again on site as I arrived. Once again I witnessed an owl (presumably the male) as it watched squirrels in the clearing near the nest site, occasionally was mobbed by crows. As seen before the owl sometimes chased one of the crows. After a while things settled down - until the owl swooped upon a Douglas Squirrel - this time it caught it.
After further mobbing by crows the owl flew off a short distance (into denser cover).About ten minutes later the crows indicated that the owl was back.
It then settled down to roost and showed no more interest in hunting. Curiously it did not take the prey to the nest site for its mate.
The following day, another enthusiast saw an owl hunting at the same location, at about the same time - after squirrels again.
March 16 - Southern site mating activity
Tonight we first located the female owl in a tree just off the trail to the west of the nest site.
She was making regular, soft begging calls (often described as a "mew"). Sometimes watching for prey.
After a while (at dusk) she flew across the trail to where (unknown to us) the male had been perched.
They remained together for a brief period before the male flew off westward down the trail.
Some time later he returned and they both flew off towards the 2nd potential nest site. Stopping somewhat short of that area they then proceeded to mate.
It was now quite dark and we were unable to follow where they went from there.
March 17 - Stanley Park Owl Survey 2009, Day 1
Today was the first day of the (2-day) annual survey by the Ecology Society. As for last year they were are able to borrow an owl caller from Triton Environmental Consultants. This year Triton also sent along one of their staff, Leigh. As usual Robyn led the whole adventure.
Three of the nine sites monitored for park recovery were visited. These were established after the storm of 2 years ago. Following standard protocols, the calls of the 3 larger species were played followed by periods of listening. These were: Great Horned, Barred and Western Screech. At the first site Robyn thought she heard a Pygmy Owl, so we added a callout for that species, but received no call-backs.
The 2nd and 3rd sites happened to be either side of the Southern Barred Owl's nesting site, so we had high hopes of them calling back. Only after we completed the callouts and were passing the nest site on our way out were we treated to 2 full calls of "who cooks for you".
No other owls were seen or heard - though I thought I saw something at the 2nd site (during the Barred Owl callout), but it could have been a bat.
March 19 - Stanley Park Owl Survey 2009, Day 2
Today we visited the same sites as for the first survey day, but this time the playbacks were for the 2 smaller species: Saw-whet and Pygmy. The weather was a bit drizzly at times. No owls responded to us. After the survey was over and we were heading out past the Southern's nest site and played the Barred Owl call - but got no response.
March 21 - Saw-Whet Owl Release
About 6pm today I got a call from Jerry (another Nature photographer) - he had just come across members of O.W.L (see References) releasing a Saw-whet Owl near the wetlands at the edge of Lost Lagoon. It had (apparently) been rescued in mid-December and was now recovered enough for release. After the release the owl remained (well hidden) in a nearby tree. It took me about half-an-hour to get there and join him watching the (now relaxing) owl. This is the second time in a few years that Jerry has found a Saw-whet like this and in exactly the same area! In the first instance the owl got there on its own - i.e. living wild in the area.
After Jerry left and Monica arrived I continued watching the owl until light failed. The owl became more active and suddenly we could no longer see it.
Returning to the site early the next morning revealed no trace of the owl (unsurprisingly).
Finally, on my way home (now laden with groceries), and just in front of the neighbouring building I saw the unmistakable shape of an owl fly across the road in front of me and land on the corner of my building! Groceries everywhere I scrambled to get my binoculars out of my pack and just managed to confirm the rear view of an owl. As I unpacked my camera the owl left - I did not see where it went. I then continued home with the recovered groceries - with thoughts of "who cooks for you". Out quickly to survey the nearby streets and alleys there was no sign of the owl - one must be cautious with binoculars in the streets on a Friday night!
This last incident reminded me of two earlier owl adventures - one in October of 1997 - when I found a Barred Owl on the streets of the West End. The other occasion was in February 2001 and also involved groceries, this time with a Snowy Owl, just a block and a half from home, on Sunset Beach! Barred Owls have become quite common (though rarely seen) throughout many cities with sufficient green space, but less so Snowy Owls (well maybe not for the far north).
March 22 - Northern site active, Great Horned Owl seen
Being a Saturday and with unexpectedly good weather I was able to take two trips into the park today. The morning saw me at the Saw-whet release site by about 7:40 am, but (as noted above) no owl was found. I then visited the southern Barred owl territory, both the new site and last year's. In the old area I heard owls call and then found crows watching a cavity in a tree near the far end of Lovers trail.
Early evening saw me passing through the Southern territory, where I found Monica who had been watching the pair near the Lovers/Tatlow junction. I left her trying to relocate them while I went on to the Northern pair's site. Eventually I was rewarded with overlapping calls and the sight of the owls mating. After that one owl (presumably) the female headed towards last year's nest tree. As I was trying to get back to the site the male flew past (both me and the tree) and began hunting near Rawlings trail.
This is really good news and proves that the dead owl from last month was not from this pair (short of a replacement taking over, which is quite possible but too quick).
On my way home (about 8:15 pm by now) at Second Beach I saw the familiar silhouette of an owl, but this one had ear tufts. Hoping for a Screech Owl, I edged forward to find an actively hunting Great Horned Owl...
The owl soon disappeared into the gloom and I continued home - well satisfied with the day!
March 22 - Mating activity at Southern site, Northern quiet
Today (Sunday) I was expecting poor weather and the opportunity to catch up with this report! Instead we had more good weather and so I had to go out (?!) with the camera. My intention was to do non-owl things, but then I met Jerry and Freddy who were on their way to the southern site - Freddy hoping for his first Barred Owl. As we got to the usual clearing, I found an owl (the expected Barred) and so we all watched and photographed for a while. We were treated to the usual "owl chases squirrel in spiral around tree" routine. Then we heard the other owl call and located it nearer to the nest site (but harder to see). After some calling the owls flew together for a while then parted. One settling further into the wood near the nest tree. Freddy and Jerry then left in search of the local Virginia Rail.
As I was on the point of leaving the owls started calling again and I then saw the 2nd owl return amid much overlapped calling (which I managed to record, somewhat), mating took place...
After this brief encounter the male flew to a lower perch...
Soon after the female left for a tree near the nest. From there she made the usual soft begging calls, while being occasionally mobbed by crows. The male stayed put and for a while looked like he was about to produce a pellet, but ended up taking a snooze instead.
It was now well passed 6pm so I continued (as planned) to the northern site, but could find no owls there. Finally I returned home to work on this report!
An excellent weekend for "owls in the park" - the original name of my (owls) web site!
March 24 - Quick check on Southern site
Once again an owl was seen on the trail just north of the nest site - so close to the path that you could have reached out and touched it (I didn't).
March 25 - Eastern site quiet
Today I spent some time in the territory of the Eastern pair, but there was no activity. I spent about two hours in the area including Beaver Lake and the Miniature Railway, leaving just after dark (about 8pm). No owls but the Beaver Lake beaver was active.
March 26 - Owls calling at Eastern site
I did not venture out today, but Monica passed through all the sites. At the Eastern site she heard overlapping owl calls at about 7:40pm. When she described the exact location I realized it was very close to a potential nest tree that I had surveyed (with difficulty) about a month earlier.
March 27 - Eastern site quiet
After Monica's reports from yesterday (Thursday) I spent an hour around dusk at the suspected eastern nest site. There were no calls or sightings.
March 29 - Eastern site quiet, Woodpecker mobs Southern Owl
Finally a sunny day - on a weekend too! Towards the end of today I happened across Monica near the Northern nest site and Eagle nest site areas. Around dusk I showed her the exact location of the Eastern (potential) nest location - maybe she'll have more success than I have had of late.
Late afternoon Freddy and Jerry were watching one of the Southern owls when it was mobbed by a Pileated Woodpecker. (Can a single bird "mob" something ?) Crows then joined in and the owl left for deeper cover.
March 31 - Eastern site active
Arriving in the territory at dusk I was just in time to hear a couple of single "who" calls. They appeared to come from the (potential) nest site. Venturing in with caution I found both owls (reasonable photo of one). They flew to the same tree for a while before leaving in the direction of Beaver Lake. I am becoming much more confident that this is indeed their chosen nest site. Unlike the other pairs it is well concealed and protected from casual (human) access.
All in all we seem to be ending the month on positive notes for all Barred Owl nest sites and with possibilities for Saw-whet and Great Horned Owls!
Lots of activity but not enough time to document everything - I hope to update the remaining April information (from 16th to 30th) when time permits. Update: time did not permit!
April 2 - Eastern site active
Once again I visited the Eastern site around dusk. This time approaching from the more wooded side. After waiting until the light had almost completely failed I heard some very soft calls coming from the tree and shortly after both owls flew out and over my head. I then left them in peace and fumbled my way out of the area.
April 5 - Southern owls active
Monica reported seeing the southern owls active around their territory in the afternoon.
I was surveying other areas in the park - including Brocton Point, which shows some indication of owl activity. Pellets and lots of feathers - though the pellets are much degraded and possibly not from a Barred Owl - Great Horned perhaps?
Update: in later years a nesting pair was found between Brocton Point and the Aquarium.
April 6 - Owls sighted in Eastern area
Dalyce reported her first independent owl sighting at the junction of South Creek and Wren trails (within the Eastern pair's territory). Congratulations Dalyce! Dalyce normally leads the Heron monitoring - which, with over 100 nests, keeps her quite busy! Check them out too - lots of nesting activity now (near the Parks Board office). There is some uncertainty as to the species - it could have been a Barn Owl (or a Screech-Owl), but we should probably assume it to be a Barred Owl.
April 7 - Southern Owl seen on trail
Shortly after dusk (after watching my first Anna's Hummingbird nest) I saw one of the Southern owls off Tatlow trail. This is part of their typical hunting area.
April 10 - Saw-Whet in the City?
Today I heard from Peter K. that he had recently seen a Saw-whet Owl in the Cole Harbour area. That makes at least three sightings in the last 8 months - the other two had to be rescued. Is this species becoming more urban?
Update: a few (?) years later I was treated to an encounter with a Saw-whet Owl at the Inukshuk on English Bay.
April 11 - Southern Owl catches Douglas Squirrel
While I was visiting O.W.L. with S.P.E.S (enough acronyms for you?) Jerry saw one of the Southern owls catch a Douglas Squirrel in the Seven Sisters area.
April 12 - Southern Owl seen hunting on trail
After visiting the hummingbird nest again, I once again saw a Southern owl hunting off Tatlow trail (at dusk).
April 15 - Northern Owl seen near nest site
Around dusk I arrived at the Northern nest site to hear an American Robin giving alarm calls. Soon after I heard soft "who" calls coming from the area of the tree and then an owl flew out of the area, northward across a trail.
May 1 - Northern Owl roosting. Eastern activity
Late afternoon (around 4pm) I visited the Northern nest site on my way back from photographing the Eagle nest at Merilees (they have 2 healthy eaglets in their nest). A Barred Owl was sitting on a branch just above and to the left of the nest cavity - one of its favourite spots from last year. I did not stay long as I was planning to spend some quality time at the Eastern site. There (at the western observation point) I was rewarded by some of the longest vocalizations I have ever heard. This started at dusk with single "who" calls from the eastern side (behind the tree, from my viewpoint). Then full calls from somewhere in the nest tree, followed by an owl flying away (east) a short distance and out of sight (but still quite close). That is when the series of long "who, who", "who-ers" calls began. They continued, on and off, for several minutes. At one point I became concerned that my presence may have somehow caused this, so I left the immediate area and returned to the main trail (animal welfare always comes first). However, as expected (from previous experiences) this had no effect upon their behaviour. The sequence eventually ended with a couple of more distant, single, "who" calls. The latter, I am learning, usually signals the departure of an adult for hunting - ending the conversation.
May 2 - Eastern Site active again
I visited the Eastern site again tonight, at dusk - this time from the eastern observation point. Well of course most of the calling activity was on the western side this time. I did get a brief glimpse of an owl then a few full calls and the usual single "who" calls signaling the end of the session.
May 3 - Southern Owl calling on Tatlow
Near dusk I was returning from the Merilees eagle nest via the Northern owl site (nothing seen there) and then via Tatlow to the Southern owl site. On Tatlow, approaching Seven Sisters I encountered an owl making the full "who-cooks-for-you" calls (a few times). It then flew off along the trail westward (towards the Western owl territory).
May 4 - Western Site active
Today I decided to visit last year's site for what I have been calling the "southern owls". I had been convinced that they had moved to the east of their territory, but with activity at both sites I am now convinced that we actually have four active sites. This is largely a result of today's visit to the Western site. Arriving about 7:15 I was treated to a couple of single who calls from behind me (to the east) and shortly after saw an owl fly high overhead and directly into the nest cavity! The weather was deteriorating and I had to leave earlier than planned, so I missed any subsequent action. No photos. So from now on I will call this the Western site - I will also edit my old observations to reflect the name reassignment. It does not actually affect much - I have yet to document last year anyway!
May 5 - Western Site active again - border patrol?
With mixed weather (sun and light rain) I managed to visit the Western site again tonight. Arriving slightly earlier than yesterday, it was longer before I heard a call. This time it was 2 sequences of "who-cooks-for-you" (about a minute apart). The calls came from very close to the nest tree. I was unable to locate the exact location - neither were the 2 crows on the top of the tree. They may have been distracted by the eagle on the top of a neighbouring tree. That eagle was later joined by another amid calling. They stayed about 20 minutes before heading east overhead. I finally left the owl site about 20 minutes after sunset. Just as I was approaching the 2nd Beach parking lot I heard single "whos" coming from the location I had just left. These calls continued but appeared to be heading east. They changed to full calls as the bird headed further east - towards the Southern territory. It would have been interesting to be on the border (wherever that is).
Sadly, this is where my story ends - but the owls continued their adventures - and of course I did continue following them but, due to various time constraints, did not keep up with what was essentially an owl blog.
I wish everyone well with their "owling" adventures.
Tread softly - their welfare come first!