I started the day with some trepidation; after finding 2 broods of dead chicks last week, we were scheduled to check 2 more boxes that should by now have good sized chicks, one at Stragglethorpe that had already fledged 2 chicks this year and the other at Bingham where the first breeding box had fallen off the tree, breaking the eggs but fortunately the female had survived the fall to breed again in another box nearby.
Gordon came round and we were soon at the first box. I slid the door open and was delighted to find 3 big chicks, all females with two being heavily spotted and the other with a few very small spots that I could hardly see!
On then to the Bingham Box; potato harvest was in full swing and we had to take to the field to get round; the G as usual coped well with the mud and deep ruts but last week’s jet wash was now just a distant memory!
Opening this box and the first thing I saw was a large dead chick which I removed. However, there were 2 more that were very much alive, both males and the biggest soon had a tight grip on my finger and I had to enlist Gordon’s help to release the grip. 5 more chicks then to our total ringed and we’re now on 84 with some more to ring next week.
From here, we drove to Stanton on the Wolds Golf Club. The box here had been up for over 10 years and had never been used by a Barn Owl; only Stock Doves had ever ventured inside. One of our tasks this autumn is to relocate boxes that have never been used so down it came and after a repaint, will be erected in another place, hopefully to get a Barn Owl of its own!!