Sunday, 30 January 2011

Last boxes in Lymm

We have been working around Lymm in the last couple of weeks and we finished today with three more boxes. Hopefully these will help to encourage some breeding birds into the area in future years.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011



This involves placing a numbered metal ring around the owl’s leg so that it can be identified should it be recovered in the future. As well as helping us understand bird movements we can also learn how long the birds live for and about their breeding success.Our improved understanding can help inform conservation policy.

The British Trust for Ornithology ringing system is carried out by trained, licensed individuals who have the utmost consideration for the bird's welfare.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Some more boxes at Lymm

We put more boxes up at Lymm this morning watched attentively by some of the locals in their Sunday Best.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Beautiful Female

This lovely lady is the female from one of Tom's boxes. She is an unringed, first-calandar year bird of   good weight and in really good condition. This is testament to the benefit of fantastic, prey-rich habitat.

 She is well speckled and the wing coverts and nape show the typical grey colour of female birds.  There is a clear remnant of the peach flush around her neck

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Some new boxes

We met up at Lymm this morning on a very mild January day to put up three nest boxes. This is a new area for us and we are planning to erect several more boxes over the coming weeks.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Tom is happy

Tom had given me a call earlier in the week asking me to go round and check out his owl boxes as he had found lots of fresh pellets recently. His farm at Higher Whitley is a model of fantastic Barn Owl habitat with loads of rough grassland and broad six metre set-aside field margin strips. Similar attitudes for our wildlife would be so much welcome elsewhere. As we walked down the farm track we saw a Brown Hare running across the field and amidst the Winter stubble loads of Skylarks were taking to the air.

We have six boxes on the farm and when Roy and I visited today we were delighted to find that three of them contained healthy, brightly plumaged owls. Looking at the size and quantity of the owl pellets they are certainlty feeding well too!

This young chap was a new bird for us; a first year bird that had not previously been ringed; he is now sporting a shiny new bangle; GC 78649. Tom took loads of piccies and returned grinning like a Cheshire Cat. His efforts in farming for wildlife are to be applauded.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

More Maintenance and another nice surprise

A beautiful crisp Winter's morning with the sun shining saw us replace an old box on the Daresbury Estate; more great cooperation from the gamekeeper Ray. The habitat still looks great and although there were no owls in the boxes there is plenty of evidence that they are about.

Back home to Northwich to check upon a box that had been unfortunately reported to me as having the inspection door opened. The good news was that inside the box there were a pair of roosting owls, the male had been ringed as a chick in 2007 at Oscroft and was last retrapped in 2009 about a mile away.

The female, in her fourth year, had not previously been ringed. Both birds were looking very healthy and were of good weight. Hopefully they will be able to breed later in the year.