The east owl stood on its pyramid stone when I first arrived at 7:30 a.m. In that spot, its head can be seen from outside the fence. Half an hour later, the bird retreated behind its rock and under its brush awning, invisible except from the Open Circle viewpoint.
In the interval between these two sightings, I went in search of the north owl. This owl, as regular readers of this diary know, can usually be counted on to make an appearance. Not so this morning. No sight of it from up on the path. No sight of it from the triangular promontory west of there. At that promontory I let the video camera run, hoping for a clip of the bird flying in. No luck. But then I saw something disturbing that could very well account for the owl’s absence: at least three and possibly as many as five dogs, loose, penetrating the fennel, two of them onto the rip-rap, and one of them swimming in the water just yards from the owl’s normal position. No owner to be seen anywhere.
Dogs off leash in this area is absolutely against the law. Some owners feel they are entitled to be free of responsibility for their dogs and let them run, the law be damned and the hell with wildlife. Owners like this are a plague on parks.