Not directly related to Tipton’s Croft, though a reflection of how much rain we’ve had this winter, here are some photos we took of the recent floods.
No, the owl’s not being sick, it’s bringing up a pellet (the undigested remains of its last meal, likely a field vole).
The refugee has woken up and having a good stretch before flying off. Look out for when it delicately pulls each of its flight feathers through its beak.
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.
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.
They’re both in the same nest box today, waiting for the rain to stop, the wind to drop and for night to come. Here’s sixty seconds of relaxation!
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!).
Sheltering from Storm Ciara today, one owl in each of the nest boxes. Not sure why they don’t share the same box: perhaps one snores.
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.
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.
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.
Not a breath of wind and a beautiful clear evening sky.
It does feel a bit voyeuristic watching them spend time together, particularly when they get all frisky and start practising making hootlets.
We have sound (but no music!) as both the barn owls arrive, noisily at first, then romantic silence as they settle in together.
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.
Say hello to Mr Tawny!
Little doubt this time, different markings compared to a barn owl. Only one so far, hopefully the other is hiding in the nest box.
We heard a tawny hooting last night and these two photos are from the new owl box. Photos aren’t clear but we think a tawny is taking over this box while the barn owls are nesting in the old one. We hope they all get on.
They’re spending more time around the nest box, though not staying in it during the day. A lot of winter to go yet before they nest properly, but it’s looking good so far.
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.