First flight

This evening the younger owlet found enough courage to leap off the nest box ledge for the first time, though rather inelegantly flew straight into a bush. She made a good recovery though and has now flown off to shelter from the rain in a nearby oak tree.

The black spots on their chests show that they’re female.

All alone

The older owlet has already learnt to fly and last night spent most of her time away from the nest box, leaving her younger sister alone to sit on the ledge in the early morning light, before going for a solitary daytime sleep.

The black spots on their chests show that they’re female.


Out in the early morning rain the two owlets wait without success for food. We haven’t seen the adult female for weeks and the adult male doesn’t always appear often and certainly not when it’s raining. So we feed the hungry wobble-heads until they can fend for themselves.

The black spots on their chests show that they’re female.

Owl check-up time

The owlets are about 51 days old so time for a weighing, measuring and ringing by owl expert John Lightfoot from the Shropshire Barn Owl Group. This year we have two females, doing well though one rather under weight. They still have lots of ‘baby’ fluff but are rapidly shedding this to reveal their new feathers which they’ll be using soon as they venture out of the nest box.

Day 42

The two barn owlets are beginning to loose their fluffy covering and reveal their new feathers. Not long before they’ll be trying to get out of the nest box. A combination of the adults and us bringing them food seems to be working.

Day 21

Hunting is not going well for the barn owls, with the father seldom seen and the mother often returning without food. There are just two owlets now and we have started to supplement their food to keep them going. Not an easy decision: should we leave these wild animals alone?

Surprise arrivals

We knew there was a moorhen in the pond, but we didn’t realise there were two and they were nesting! Here’s the result: six chicks, probably only a day old.

The mother spends time feeding the chicks until they can fend for themselves.

Moorhens have very big feet for their size, from the day they hatch!

Growing up fast

The greylag gosling is now two weeks old and growing fast. The adult male has disappeared, leaving the female to bring up the gooselet (no, this isn’t a real word) on her own, but she seems to be doing a good job.

Update 12 June. Three weeks old and doing well!

Update 16 June. Unfortunately it looks as though we’ve lost the greylag gosling. We last saw it a week ago and briefly saw the mother fly off a couple of days ago (she never leaves the gosling on its own). Such is nature, though whether it was a predator like a fox we’ll never know.

Dinner time

The barn owl mum has to multitask, keeping the three owlets under control while sitting on the two remaining eggs, holding dinner (a mouse caught during the night) under a claw while pulling it apart with her beak to feed the hungry pink wrigglers. It won’t be long before they can each down a whole mouse themselves, but in the meantime it’s hard work for the mum. We’re not sure where the dad is: if he’s not around then it will be hard for her to provide enough food for the growing brood on her own..

Two goose eggs

A careful drone flyby when the mother was away feeding shows two intact eggs in the middle of the nest. There may be more to come as four or five are a typical clutch for a greylag goose.

Update 21 May 2023. The two goose eggs disappeared a few days later, then two more appeared but the female crushed one. The remaining one survived and just two hours ago hatched and the gosling is already happily swimming around the pond!

First egg!

The male has clearly learned how to do things right, as the female has just laid her first egg which she is now tenderly caring for.