Thursday, 31 May 2012

Nosey Cow

I found my 40th brood of the season tonight and some interested bystanders stayed to watch the birds being ringed!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

First Kestrels of 2012

I found my first Kestrel broods of the year today. The first brood of four are about a week away from fledging whilst the second brood of five are two to three weeks behind them.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

More breeding Little Owls.

I was delighted to find this brood of Little Owls in one of my nestboxes tonight. The chicks are only a few day's old and they are being well provided for by their parents as there is plenty of food inside the box.

Mum is doing well too; despite giving me this piercing stare.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

2012: good early signs.

2012 looks likely to be a bumper year for Mid-Cheshire's Barn Owl population. We have alraedy located 31 breeding pairs. I am also finding new adult birds, such as this stunning male, in previously unoccupied territories.

Monday, 21 May 2012

More breeding pairs.

Three more breeding pairs were found today. One of them was located at a new breeding site near to Weaverham; the female (above) enjoying the late evening sunshine.

The male bird was first ringed as a chick in 2009 and he was one of the first birds handled by my daughter, Amy. It is amazing to look at his transformation from tiny owlet into the adult bird below.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Little Owl

I was delighted to find my first breeding Little Owl of this year this evening; she is sitting snugly on four eggs.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Fancy seeing you here

The signs are looking very promising for a successful breeding year in 2012. A quick visit to Norley tonight resulted in me finding another healthy brood of five owlets.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

First chicks ringed of 2012.

Although it was the 22nd brood to be found this year, these five were the first chicks that were old enough to ring. The three male and two female birds ranged in age from 35 to 44 day's old.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

First Year Breeders

Today I retrapped this female bird. Of the chicks that were ringed last year, she is the fifth breeding bird that I have found so far in 2012.

I also found my first breeding Kestrel of the year; twenty yards away from a pair of breeding Barn Owls.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Long journey North

I found this first year male bird at Kingsley today. He was ringed as a chick last Summer at Broomhall (approx. 30km to the south) and, given that most Barn Owls are quite sedantry, his movement is quite significant.
He is breeding with an older female, who has seeemingly lost her partner from 2011, in a regular nest site.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Food cache

If today's nestbox checks are anything to go by it seems that  the owls are having no difficulty in finding enough food to sustain their broods this year.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Two Mums

Last night I found a brood of three Barn Owl chicks sat safely with their mother; they ranged from 5-10 days old and I will return to ring them at the end of the month. Mum is a first year breeding bird that was previously unringed.

I then came across this Tawny Owl, also a first year breeding bird, with her owlet which is about 25 day's old. It looks like she is a single parent and this youngster is receiving her full attention; there was a dead sibling inside the nestbox along with an unhatched egg that looked as though it had been trodden on by the adult bird. Although she was in a somewhat bedraggled state she is of a really good weight and her solitary chick should have no problem fledging successfully.