David Stock who keeps an eye on some boxes at Hathern called to say that he’d seen Barn Owls around a box that we hadn’t checked due to the birds having already nested in another nearby box. It sounded good and I arranged to go over late afternoon after David had finished work. When I got there, I found he’d invited half of Hathern along but no problem, the more the merrier and it meant I didn’t have to carry any kit out to the box!!
David had been right; there were 2 well grown chicks in the box which were well photographed by the appreciative onlookers and then ringed and returned to the box!!
A few days later, with Gordon, we went to mop up a few late breeders, we checked 6 boxes and found 2 with chicks, ringing 2 in each. This was both disappointing and surprising as all of these pairs were well established and experienced pairs who would normally be expected to bring off second broods but possibly the wet weather and drop in temperature finally got to the vole population!!
We also had a look at some of Gordon’s boxes where it had been reported that owls were still around; we found a couple of adults but no more chicks!
So an end of a long season blighted by bad weather but the owls battled through and I ended up ringing 90 chicks plus 2 more that I couldn’t reach making it RUBOP’s 2nd best ever year while over in Broxtowe, we had a record year with 10 pairs and 20 chicks; all in all, not a bad season after all. Thanks go to my loyal band of helpers, Gordon, Chris and Neil for their valuable help!!