This was our last day of checking boxes to see if they were
being used; we only had six boxes still to check and with 29 breeding pairs so far, it would be nice to get over 30. Plenty of help today as Neil and Zoe were out again along with Zoe’s friend Bryony.
Looking at the boxes still to do; one was a new box so a first inspection but the other 5 had all had breeding Barn Owls in the past so a good chance of increasing our score.
The new box had an old Jackdaw nest inside and the
2nd, which had had Barn Owl nesting failures for the past 2 years gave some hope but on opening the door, there was a female Kestrel with chicks and eggs inside. It’s unusual to find an adult Kestrel in a box; they usually scarper before we get there but this mother stayed with her chicks but strangely left the box as we departed.
Box 3 was one that had breeding Barn Owls for the past 2 years and I climbed the ladder with keen
anticipation, only to be shot down in flames when I found a Stock Dove inside; however, there is another box on site, used 3 years ago and sure enough, mother Barn Owl was inside with the 5 biggest chicks I’ve seen all year. These were big enough to ring and they were all soon wearing their bright new jewelry and back in the box with mum. The two other boxes had only Jackdaws so we left for home, calling on the way to see how the Little Owls were getting on.