Sunday, 1 June 2014

Box checking in the Vale

Well, I ringed more owls yesterday alone than in the whole of 2013, so things are looking up. I'd been a bit concerned after a week of incessant rain, but it seems that many pairs were well ahead of schedule with good sized young that were perhaps more able to weather the storms.

I began with Kestrel boxes and found a wide range from birds on eggs up to a brood of 5 that must have been half grown. The pic below also shows the head of the sixth sibling which had become breakfast at some point (the fifth is hidden in the far left hand corner, perhaps hoping to avoid the same fate)...

Next were two boxes with large Little Owl chicks. Talking to several people, these appear to have had a good year in 2013, unlike Tawny and Barn Owls. I wonder if we are now seeing the result of that? (Yes, Penny decided that an old bridesmaid's dress was the correct attire for box-checking...)

Lastly, 2 of 3 Barn Owl broods I found were big enough to ring and seemingly doing well with a few prey items cached.

Fingers crossed for not too much more wet weather.


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