Slow January

Hoar frost on hogweed

Not much happening, but the days are ticking by and getting ever so slightly longer. The barn owls are still visiting the nest box at night, often going there just after dusk and in and out until dawn. No sign of the tawnies, but we can still hear them in the woods nearby. The field is soggy, the lake gently overflowing, frost in the mornings and footprints of badgers and foxes, but apart from that all is quiet.

Happy New Year!

And we start with a new camera – not working properly yet (no sound, video not exporting properly), but once it is we should have day and night videos of the barn owl box.

We think this is the male. Paler markings and no black spots on front unlike the female, and the male tends to be the one seeking out and preparing nest sites.

Settling in

It’s been a couple of weeks and the two barn owls are still hanging around. They’re sleeping somewhere else most days but at night are still taking a great interest in the nest box, so hopefully it fits their requirements for the spring.

Hooty’s back!

And not just one but two: after a year of empty nests we now have a pair of barn owls taking an interest in the old nest box. We’re going to give them plenty of peace and quiet while they settle in. There’s a lot of winter ahead for them but the field is ready, with plenty of scrubland for hunting.

A word of caution though: these two do look like barn owls, but over the past few days we’ve seen distant brief glimpses a pair of what we think were tawny owls (appearing darker than barn owls and more typical behaviour) so we may or may not have those too. Not sure the field is bigger enough for both.

‘shrooms

It’s the season for mushrooms, so here are a few at Tipton’s Croft. We’re not mycologists (though think we know what some of them are) and have definitely not touched or picked them. But we think they look nice.