Yesterday evening Mick P and I met up with David Stock who used to work at Stanford Hall, he has found at least 3 Hobby nests for us there over the last few years. We went to erect a 'hanging basket' artificial nest for the Hobby to use. These are known to work but it is the first the group has erected. Mick P did the honours of climbing the tree and the position of the basket looks good to us - but of course it will be up to the Hobby to decide just how good. There has been some large-scale trapping and destroying of corvids in the area so a lack of suitable crows nests may help in the basket being used.
I decided to check a few more Tawny boxes whilst in the deep south of Notts. Mick P joined me so far through the afternoon prior to doing the Hobby basket. Most boxes in my patch have now been checked and so far the results show a 46% occupancy rate by Tawny Owls. I guess the birds in this area must have started a little later as most boxes have eggs and the few with chicks are no where near big enough to ring.
As we walked to check the boxes at Thorpe Plantation I told Mick about a particularly aggressive female that nested last year, she did a fair amount of damage to my hand. The first box we got to had a female sitting on chicks, I asked Mick if he wanted a glove but he declined. I was wondering if it was the same female as I heard Mick shout and blood started to drip from above. Mick bravely hung on to the bird, blood pouring from his hand - yes it was the same bird. She was originally ringed at the same site as an adult 8 years ago and has since developed her anti-ringer grip to perfection.