First egg of the year!

At last the new nest box is being used properly, but not by the owls. A squirrel has spent the past few days filling it with nest material and it has now laid an egg. Hopefully the first of a few (squirrels lay up to eight each year). Won’t be long before we have lots of cute little baby critters!

Intruders!

There have been no owls in the new nest box for a few days, so others have taken advantage of the opportunity. Not sure who’s going to win the bidding war for this desirable location

Sunday at home

The two barn owls are spending a lazy Sunday in the old nest box. They’re staying in the old nest box more now, hopefully a sign that they’ve chosen it as their nesting site this year.

The female is almost out of view at the bottom of the screen.

They come and they go

Our refugee barn owl seems to have moved on, and the two love birds (geddit?!) have moved back into the old nest box. Unfortunately the empty nest box is being eyed up by a jackdaw, though fortunately no signs of nesting in it yet.

He’s a she!

The refugee has been making a habit of coming out and sitting on the ledge a few minutes before dusk, just perfect for a proper camera shot from the hide. Here he is in all his glory, only, erm, he is actually (we think) a she – the black spots on the flanks are usually only on the female.

Daytime canoodling

Three days of absence, no idea where he’s been (perhaps on his stag weekend) and we were getting a bit worried, but he’s back and they’re back busy preening each other and waiting out the latest stormy weather.

In this clip they get spooked by something outside and he goes out to sort it out – there’s a bit of noise and he soon comes back and they carry on as before.

What a guy!

Count the owls

One, two, and er, three! We have a new owl, who has suddenly appeared in the old nest box. Not sure where it’s come from, possibly a refugee from the recent storms. It’s sheltering in the box that the other owls were planning to use as a nest (rather than a roost), so we’re not sure how this is going to turn out.

Meditating the day away

It looks like the owls are settling in to the new nest box during the day, perhaps their old roosts have been damaged by the recent storms. There’s another storm coming, but tonight should be dry so plenty of opportunity to hunt.

This is the male, the female is tucked down just out of the picture.

Cross owl

Something spooked one of the owls today while they were sleeping out the storm. You can hear the wind then banging on the nest box, perhaps twigs but more likely a squirrel, who wisely backed off (remember what happened to Squirrel Nutkin!).

Crash!

Not a particularly elegant entry to the nest box, but here’s one of the barn owls settling in for a rest, oddly in the middle of the day, and in the old nest box which they’ve only been using at night.

Daytime owl

One of the barn owls has decided to spend today in the new nest box rather than roosting elsewhere as they have been doing. Not sure where the other one is – they were both in the old nest box last night.