In the last post, I told you the tale of my visit to Dévaványa, in south-eastern Hungary. I mentioned the Greast bustards and the imperial eagles, but there's one thing I left out.
As the sun set, I heard a call I used to be familiar with, one not unlike that of a yelping dog: a Little owl (Athene noctua)!
When I still lived with my parents in France, we often heard them, and sometimes saw them perched on the neighbour's house. They've always shunned the nesting box we installed in the garden, but they were there. It's not a species we have in Finland, though, so hearing them again that day was a treat.
I found out that there were several of them around, probably a whole family. The first was perched on the replica of an old traditional dwelling. It moved on, and I found it perched in a tree, with the moon somewhere in the background. I had to shoot through foliage to place it right behind the bird, and even though Little owls don't have a very distinct silhouette, I think it made for a nice shot.
I saw more birds perched here on a pile of wood, there on a stack of hay bales... they were all around me.
The last encounter occured in near-complete darkness, when I found an owl perched on a fence behind the cow shed. We looked at each other, obviously both intrigued, and when the bird flew away, I left it at that and went to sleep, ready for the upcoming early morning adventure.
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