Monday, 28 December 2020
Friday, 20 November 2020
We've recently begun working with the Christmas Common Farm Cluster to roll-out a Barn Owl project. There are 18 farms involved in the Farm Cluster, spread over an area of South East Oxfordshire and South Buckinghamshire.
The first task is to survey the farms and recommend on the suitability for owl or kestrel boxes.
Some of the farms already have owl boxes, but which have never been monitored
Our surveying got off to a good start yesterday, finding a barn owl pair roosting in a box inside a disused barn.
Here is a photo of the female:
|Barn Owl female - 1 year old|
Wednesday, 8 July 2020
The results show a very poor breeding season with just seven nest attempts, four of which failed at the egg stage. No doubt owing to a lack of voles for prey.
Four chicks have been ringed at the three surviving nests.
It will be interesting to see if this picture is repeated across the region.
As last year was a bumper breeding season, this shouldn't pose a long-term risk to the local Barn Owl population.
This is only the fourth Barn Owl "immigrant" to our area that we have encountered so far.
Tuesday, 2 June 2020
Luckily the bird was rescued before it died, and taken to Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital where hopefully it will be rehabilitated.
This is a reminder of just how dangerous water troughs can be to wildlife. But by simply installing a suitable float, they can be made safe - see here water-troughs
So do please get in touch if you have a water trough on your land.
Saturday, 2 May 2020
But with the Covid-19 lockdown, we are only receiving information from six of these boxes where the householders are able to monitor the cameras for themselves.
All six boxes are occupied by Barn Owl pairs, but as yet egg laying has not started.
This suggests that 2020 might be a later breeding season than we've seen in recent years.
Update: The first eggs were laid at two of these camera-boxes on 12th and 15th May.