Monday, 16 April 2012

More Tawny Owl checking

One day I'll learn to drive my little Peugeot like a little Peugeot and not like a Landrover. Thankfully a passing cyclist was able to give me a shove off the ridge I'd become grounded on and I hadn't lost too much time. Whilst Jim was further north I was in the far south of the county doing the same and have managed to do about 15 boxes so far. Tawnys were in four of them and two Kestrel eggs were in another. So unlike Jim I'm a couple up on last year.

One box had a retrap female Tawny ringed as an 8 in same box back in 2009, but absent the last two years. She was on 4 chicks too small to ring (see pic). Two others were sat on 2 eggs and a final bird was on tiny chicks just hatching so I left them all well alone.

The Kestrels were in a pole-top Barn Owl box that they have been in before, with a Tawny on two eggs in a box 8 feet below. This is the second time they've performed this double act.

In addition to the usual box checking equipment (ladder, blocker, flea powder) I'm finding my phone an increasingly valuable tool. By slipping it under the blocker and taking a picture, you can inspect a box without poking your nose in and risking a eye out as they adjust to the gloom. The results a rarely frame worthy prints, but then that's not the object of the exercise and you almost always get a clear idea of what's in the box. Here are a few pics I've ended up with and in many cases, not had to disturb the box any further.


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