01 April 2011

Owl Action on the Nunnery Reserve

During the winter, Paul Taylor and the Nunnery Fisheries team have been hard at work making and erecting nesting boxes, in the hope of attracting owls and Kestrels. This is allows us to complete nest record cards for the Nest Record Scheme and to ring the young birds and possibly their parents too.

Yesterday we completed our first inspection of these boxes, with some interesting results. The first box had a roosting male Barn Owl (we were of course armed with the appropriate schedule 1 licence) and while attempting to sort out the ladder for the second box a Tawny Owl emerged to see what was going on. This bird was sitting on 3 eggs (below) so fingers crossed for 3 lucky ringers when these chicks hatch. Hopefully this nest will follow the progress of the nest the BTO is monitoring.

By this stage we were in a very positive frame of mind but we actually had mixed results. The next Kestrel box had sticks and feathers inside and another owl box was full of sticks, which were probably the work of Jackdaws. Then while also trying to find a Long-tailed Tit nest and failing, the next owl box was empty.

The next two owl boxes produced a Squirrel family and 3 Barn Owls roosting. Hopefully these Barn Owls will start to lay shortly. We were impressed though with the raptor tally for the day, Tawny Owl, Barn Owl, Kestrel fly over and the first Red Kite in Norfolk for Dave Leech.

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