20th July. It was time to ring the chicks in the box behind the Holy Cross Convent at Costock but it rained early on, drying up by 11:00 and Chris and I were a bit later than we’d arranged. Mary Julian and guests were awaiting our arrival, suitably dressed in waterproofs and wellingtons and we walked through the ancient orchard to the box.

As usual, with a crowd watching, I had the usual feelings of anticipation and dread; would there be any chicks in the box? When we’d checked in mid-June, there’d been 4 chicks and 3 of these had survived, looking great with wing feathers and face disk well developed. The youngest was still quite downy and looked like a very large dandelion  clock!!

The chicks were soon ringed; photographs taken and returned to their box.

Mary Julian also told us that she’d had a Long-eared Owl hanging around the orchard for a day; now a LEO is a very rare bird around here and Chris and I didn’t believe her and gave her a thorough interrogation. The Spanish Inquisition has nothing on us!! However she stuck to her guns and then emailed me a photograph of the bird and guess what; it was a Long-eared Owl. A great find!!

The Long-eared Owl

Mary Julian also told us that the convent was of the Anglican Church which surprised us; we didn’t know they had them; you learn something new everyday!!

The dandelion clock!!


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