Monday, 22 February 2016

Easy as....1, 2 3!

Barn owls, get yir new hoose here! Lots of people have been seeing barn owls this winter. Part of this is from all the wet weather and the owls have been getting desperate: friends have reported seeing owls hunting all daylight hours. Thankfully, after those hard winters a few years ago, barn owl numbers are also slowly building up again. So we got out and managed another three boxes this weekend. Fingers crossed for some happy house-hunting owls prospecting in the neighbourhood. Here is a lovely adult from one of the boxes last year.

At one site there were splashes of white and some fine, big black pellets, a tell-tale sign that a barn owl has been about, either roosting or hunting rats in the barn possibly. The farmer was keen to have owls on his farm and with a fair swathe of rough ground around the barn and not a road in sight, it is a perfect spot for the owls to nest. We opted for a box inside the shed, and one on the outside. That way, the owls can decide which des res they fancy, and if the jackdaw hog one, there is always  Plan B!

Next stop was some lovely pals who rustled us up a tasty lunch and steaming mugs of tea before we started back outside to put up their owl box. Their box got a new lid then we hauled it up (easy using the false crotch rig) and bolted it onto the NE face of a fine big ash. The landing platform was already fixed in place so I added a layer of hemcore bedding and shut up the lid; all ready for go!

We went back to the house and supped hot chocolate and chatted. Buzzards called and circled overhead outside and we all caught a flash of gleaming white as a stoat in ermine dashed past and disappeared under the patio. Ans on the way home, we spotted a gos high above the forest, it had been a great day of small acts and small wonders.