A PALE RIDER AND A SNAKE IN THE GRASS

Wednesday 11th May; out with Clive again, first to look for some owls missing on

A very pale male

Sunday at Tollerton; the Park gates had been locked then and with 3 boxes inside, there would be a good chance that  they’d moved across the road. Sure enough, with the blocker in the hole of the first box, I could see a Barn Owl trying to push it out. No chance and it was soon in the net; a nice big female, soon to be followed by the male, an unusually pale bird. His ring number was only 5 away from the male we’d caught on Sunday, remarkably, it was another bird from 2005, ringed in a box on Bunny Lane and I can remember it

Ellen holding the same male in 2005

well as my daughter Ellen and partner Jem had been with us and photographs were taken with the chicks. There were 5 eggs in the box!!

Next, we had a date with Sister Mary Julian at the new Holy Cross Convent, a newly converted farm on Bunny Hill. The sisters had only recently moved into their new home; last year, when we ringed birds here, it had been a building site but now, it was almost finished.

In the box, we found the same male as last year with another female that was unringed. She was very pale for a female with none of the spots on the underwing which usually denotes a female but a with a nice brood patch, there was no doubt to her

On the way back, Sister Mary showed us a Grass Snake under a sheet of

Snake in the grass

corrugated iron in the grass.

Later, over the road, we found another female in a box with 6 eggs so 15 eggs found today.

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