Hunting the elusive little owl and friends in a trench

First things first – I am “hunting” the little owl with my camera – not in the actual sense of the word. I’ve been getting up here at Leiston Abbey very early every morning (around 4.30is) and for the past few days I heard this screeching kinda squeaky sound within the Abbey ruins so went to investigate – and found that the sound was made by a tiny owl.

Sunrise at Leiston Abbey
Sunrise at Leiston Abbey

I thought it might be a tawny owl (they are around here apparently), it could not have been a barn owl as those are much bigger and of a different color – though I have seen one of those fly past me at the same time of day a few times here as well.

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No this one looked not much bigger than a small can of beer and when it lands on the ruins it looks like a rook against the morning sky – but once I knew where it lands or flies to – the “hunt” was on.

I thought all owls are nocturnal and I was lucky to see it still around in the early morning and tried to convince others to get up early too so they can see it – however as it turns out some owls are crepuscular – active at dawn and dusk and that led to the identification of this little fella as a Little Owl (or Athena’s Owl) as yesterday late afternoon I saw it in it’s favorite hole in the Abbey and could take a great photo of it – though it is very shy and when I get closer it backed up into the hole out of sight. DSC_0042

Check out some of the photos I took over the last few days with this little fella the main and only subject… soo cute.

Oh the other “wildlife” we have running around here a plenty are rabbits – so many in fact that there are big signs everywhere warning of rabbit holes and the survival of some of the structures are in jeopardy due to their extensive burrowing. The running joke however is the “white rabbit” – which I spotted a few times and finally caught on camera..

White Rabbit
White Rabbit

I am so glad to be back here – digging with Dig Ventures for the third year in a row has opened my eyes not only to Archaeology and team work. You can check out our daily video diaries on their website or youtube of course.

The other thing I like to quickly comment on is trench etiquette. What this means is – there are rules about how to behave around a trench at a archaeological dig. These range from the plain obvious – Do not step into a freshly cleaned trench, in fact do not step into one without asking the person working in it, always clear out the loose and keep the sections nice and straight (also called Section Perfection) and a few more.

That’s it from me for today – it has been a bit challenging with the non existent wifi here (so we are digging a trench to lay a broadband cable…. just kidding) but I hope to write another post soon.

Leiston Abbey
Leiston Abbey
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