Not much to report on from the last week or so, I have been dedicating what free time I've had to checking out my owl nest boxes. Col and have have decided that for the foreseeable future we are going to concentrate on box repairs and maintenance rather than putting up more new ones. Although the majority of boxes we already have up are in fair condition there are a number that are starting to rot on the roof. Luckily we recently acquired some old slate (from a derelict barn) and this is now being used as extra protection and should extend the life of the boxes considerably. Here below is the "team" including the two new recruits, Joe my son and Patch the Labrador doing the slate collection.
Here below is a typical example of what one of the boxes looks like once it has had its retrofit slate roof fitted. The two pieces of slate fit perfectly on top of one and other without the need to trim down the size. It is secured in position with silicon and should give the extra protection and longevity we are looking for.
Part of the box maintenance procedure is to check out the inside for any signs of owl activity or if any unwelcome squatters have moved in. It appears that other critters apart from owls have taken a liking to our boxes with Jackdaws and Squirrels being the main culprits. Here in this image below Col can be seen clearing out an old Jackdaw nest. It is a very dirty task and precautions must be taken so as not to inhale the dust, I think that Col just likes being a gimp!!!
During this particular weekend we had to clear out five separate boxes, two from Jackdaws and three from Squirrels. But on a positive note we came across pairs of Little Owls roosting in three separate boxes and the icing on the cake was a pair of Barn Owls roosting in another.
Whilst out one evening I managed to locate another Tawny Owl site, it was almost dark when this image was taken (which has effected the quality somewhat) but I was pleased to have captured a record shot of it. I don't know yet whether this is a roosting or breeding site, I do hope the latter. I guess time will tell as I will be keeping an eye on it from now on.
|New Tawny Owl site?|
And of course no post would be complete without a couple of Little Owl images, would it? On our travels several birds were seen out and about. These two separate birds were encountered, both not too far from our nest boxes!
The next few weekends (and evenings where possible) will be spent checking out yet more boxes, we have well over a hundred up now! But time is definitely against us as the breeding season will soon be with us again.
And finally, and as a reminder of the up and coming breeding season I will leave you with this last image of a juvenile Little Owl hiding behind a log. I have just found it on an old memory card and really like it as it's different. It was taken a couple of years ago and from memory I don't think it was ever posted on my blog so here it is.