Tuesday, 19 February 2013

A new site

I had been invited to give a talk to the Knutsford Farmer's Group in late January and I was delighted that several members of the audience  made requests for nestboxes to be erected on their land. The fine weather today afforded me the opportunity to make a trip out in order to put some of those boxes up, such as this one in Swettenham.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

More Winter Maintenance

This morning we took advantage of the glorious weather and went out to replace one of our older boxes in Northwich. This particular box had been in situ sine 2004 and during that time the Barn Owls have chosen to breed in it in 2005, 2006, 2007,  2009 (twice), 2011 and 2012. Suffice to say it is one of our best breeding locations. There was plenty of evidence to suggest that the site is being used as a Winter roost, although there weren't any owls at home today.

Pellet debris from the old box.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Didn't quite make it

I had ringed this little Barn Owl at the beginning of June last year at a regular breeding site on a farm near Antrobus. This morning I received news that the bird had travelled 57km south to Preston Brockhurst in neighbouring Shropshire and was sadly discovered dead in a farm shed just before Christmas. Barn Owls are traditionally sedentary birds and so this one had made a tremendous effort to find its own territory.
To confirm the normal sedentary nature of the birds I also received news of the demise of another bird which was found freshly dead in Warmingham on 19 December; I had ringed this owl in 2008 just 3km away from where it was discovered.