Sigh of relief. The Burrowing Owl that was missing from its habitual perch in the east side rip-rap yesterday afternoon was back this morning. Again, it persists.
To see this owl in this location, you needed binoculars or a long zoom lens. You had to step over the low wire fence on the south side of the Burrowing Owl preserve — you break no law or regulation in doing so — and walk into the Open Circle sculpture, commonly known as the Spiral. You’d focus northward on the rocky spit. Find a chopped off bush, looks like fennel with a crew cut. Straight below that bush in the rocks was the owl. Sometimes the rock below the owl showed a yellowish diagonal line; the owl’s spot is at the top left of that line. The owl in that position could not be seen from outside the fence.
Meanwhile, the north side owl experienced the disadvantage of living in a more exposed and visible setting. Poised on a rock at the water’s edge, it had a clear view of traffic passing on the paved trail above. An irresponsible dog owner, deaf to the world with earbuds in, yelled occasionally at her loose dog. The large, active breed aggressively plunged into the vegetation and onto the rocks at the water’s edge. That was too much for the owl. It took off further east on the rip-rap, and then again further and out of sight. It will probably be back. But its choice of a roosting site entails a greater load of stress than the secluded roosting site of the east side owl, out of sight and out of reach.
Here is a short video showing the encounter: