Saturday, 30 June 2012

Good News

On 21 May I found a breeding pair of Owls near to Weaverham. Unfortunately a few days later the male bird was discovered injured by the roadside in Sandiway; he was unable to recover and subsequently died.
Today I found the female bird again; she has moved south towards Oakmere and has found a new mate to breed with. She is now sat incubating 5 eggs which will hopefully hatch successfully later in the year.

In the adjacent box, 300 yards away, I then discovered another male bird with a single owlet. The amazing thing is that this male bird is the son of  the aforementioned female; fledging last year in nearby Sandiway.

Do they know that they are back so close to each other? A question that we cannot answer.

Friday, 29 June 2012

More broods

Tonight I found three broods in and around Daresbury. These two male birds, almost ready to fledge, were high up in a barn; thankfully a stack of straw bales made the task easier than last year's perilous climb up the ladder!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Definitely (Maybe) the last Kestrel brood!

Just over a week ago I announced that, unless I discovered a late brood, I had found my last Kestrel chicks of the year. Tonight I discovered that late brood; so much so that this female was the last bird waiting to fledge.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Tawny Owls

This afternoon I returned to check upon the late Tawny Owl brood that I found a couple of weeks ago. The photos clearly show the transformation that has taken place over the last fortnight although sadly one of the three youngsters didn't quite make it.

Golf courses provide good habitat

Last night I came across my second breeding pair of the week that are using nestboxes which are situated on local golf courses. The habitat created by areas of "rough" provide ideal hunting ground for the birds and their future young.

Sunday, 17 June 2012


This afternoon I ringed a brood of five Kestrels and, barring a late discovery, this is probably the last clutch of Kestrels that I have to ring this year.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Mixed morning

Following the recent bad weather I resumed checking my nestboxes this morning and what a contrast there was as I went round. Firstly I found these well-developed pair of youngsters, one male and one female, that are not too far off from taking their first flights.

About half a mile away I then discovered this new first-year female sat incubating a small clutch of eggs.

Finally, on the adjacent farm I came across another clutch of dead Barn Owl chicks. The three birds had all starved to death during the recent bad weather.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Devastating effects of the bad weather

Unfortunately the reality of the recent rain and wind has resulted in many Barn Owls being found dead in their nest sites. The inability to hunt in such conditions means that young and vulnerable birds die from a combination of cold and starvation.
These birds were discovered at two nest site inspections that I made yesterday.

Sunday, 10 June 2012


The recent bad weather caused this massive branch to fall and knock one of our nestboxes to the ground. Unfortunately there were four young Barn Owl chicks inside; two of them were killed but these two emerged battered and bruised from the ordeal. We have put the box back up in the tree and hopefully these two survivors  will pull through and fledge successfully.

Very Late Tawnies

I was surprised this morning to discover a very late breeding Tawny Owl along with three small chicks in one of our nestboxes. I will return to check upon the young at the beginning of July.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Kestrel rescue :-update.

This morning I returned to check upon the Kestrels that I had found on the floor last Sunday and was pleased to see that four of the five are all fit and healthy. Their parents have "found" them in the new box and are providing food for them. All being well these four should have no difficulty in fledging in a couple of weeks time.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


Today this little fellow had the honour of being the 100th Barn Owl chick ringed by me during 2012. He is a 43 day old male bird and was the last owlet ringed from a healthy brood of four.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

I can see you peeping out

This fine brood of four Kestrels was found near to Great Budworth last night; all of the birds are on the verge of fledging succeessfully

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A busy day's ringing started with these two Barn Owls.This was the brood in the box adjacent to the Tawny Owls that were ringed on 12 April.Subsequently another six broods were located and in total 28 chicks were ringed.

The first Little Owl brood of the year was also ringed; these three were found in a natural tree site adjacent to a farm building.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Kestrel rescue

I went out this morning to replace one of our older boxes which had fallen to the floor. When I checked inside the box I was surprised to find a brood of five young Kestrels. They are now safely inside the new nestbox and I will return in a few days to check that all is well with them.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Barn a barn!

Unusually these days, I found this brood of youngsters huddled together in a barn on a local farm. The vast majority of owls that we find are using nestboxes; a consequence of the fact that the number of available "barn sites" has rapidly declined in recent years.