Sunday, 29 September 2013

Quite a Mover

Today on a beautifully sunny afternoon I came across this brightly plumaged bird near to Marthall. He was roosting all alone and, judging by the amount of pellets and moulted feathers in the nest box, he has been there for quite some time. This bird has just entered his third year of life and has moved 20 km north from Church Lawton where he was ringed as a chick in 2011. Sadly this year, along with many other Barn owls, he has not managed to breed but as he is in such superb condition he should easily make it through the winter and be ready to try again in 2014.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Old Friends

Although we didn't manage to find any more breeding activity today it was still good to find this roosting pair of old friends at Delamere. The male had bred last year with a different female and it seems highly likely that she has not survived through to 2013. The unusually pale female bird has moved across from nearby Manley, where she was ringed as a chick in 2011. Both birds have been in residence for most of the year and they undoubtedly benefit from the rough grassland habitat that supports a good population of small mammals which provide a rich food resource for them.

Pale male bird

Dark backed but very pale-fronted female
Good habitat

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Moving On (Again).

In June I reported on the exploits of a particular male Barn Owl at Goostrey with the post entitled "Moving On". When I visited tonight to check upon the pair I found "Casanova" with a new partner; which is at least his third conquest of the year. He obviously has an eye for the ladies!


Latest Conquest

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

It is Good to be Wrong

After ringing what I expected to be the last brood of the year on Monday evening it was really pleasing to find another tonight at Whitley.
Mum was a bit sleepy, very understandable considering the chattering calls of three newborn owlets and two eggs which are about to hatch. These birds should be ready for ringing at the end of October which is when we would normally be checking second broods which all goes to show what a peculiar year 2013 is proving to be.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Probably the Last Brood of the Year

Frank and I returned to Moore this evening to check upon the birds that we discovered in July. Pleasingly the female bird was tucked up safely with four young owlets; some of which are pictured below. Mum is using the time that she cares for her brood to actively moult some of her flight feathers which is best done during this time of relative inactivity for her. These birds will probably be our last brood of the year unless we make a late, surprising find elsewhere.