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Posts Tagged ‘little owl’

The weather continues to be dominated by the wind with storms rolling in off the Atlantic on a regular basis, this in turn is dominating my ringing activities with very few opportunities to get out this month. My only session held in the garden on the 21st, with 15 birds processed including a small flock of 10 Long-tailed tits.

The 30th saw me over in the counties of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire with Carl, Paul and Sarah continuing our work as members of the Bisham Barn Owl Group (BBOG) checking & cleaning out nest boxes ready for this years breeding. Owls will often use boxes outside of the breeding season to roost in, especially when the weather turns colder, so there’s always the possibility of us catching birds during these rounds, alas we didn’t find any BO’s this time.

Following on from the last two seasons of monitoring, ringing and nest recording, this year we are starting a RAS scheme (Retrapping Adults for Survival) one of only 4 such schemes being carried out in the UK this year. More information on RAS here.

We also have Tawny Owl, Little Owl & Kestrel boxes in place and we caught this Little Owl roosting in one.

Little Owl

Little Owl

Little Owl

Little Owl

 

 

 

 

 

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Saturday 31st January

I spent the day with Carl & Paul at various locations west of Windsor: at Fifield; Holyport; and Touchen End bolting Barn owl and Little owl bird boxes to trees. Whilst at our last location we were asked by a neighbour if they could add further boxes to their land, they have a Barn owl box at the moment which was occupied by a Barn owl this year and a Kestrel last. A further visit is planned.

Photo 31-01-2015 11 41 22 Photo 31-01-2015 12 32 21 (1) Photo 31-01-2015 13 57 41 Photo 31-01-2015 14 40 05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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http://bishambarnowlgroup.blogspot.co.uk/

A new blog dedicated to owls, owl boxes and owl ringing from my friend and fellow ringer, Paul.

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…on the farm.

With a new pair of binoculars hanging from my neck I was eager to get into the field and give them a go. I’d just stepped into the first field and was delighted to spot a Kestrel sitting in a tree scanning for a meal, I watched for a while enjoying the better quality of my new glass before going  for the camera for a shot, unfortunately the light was poor and I wasn’t able to get a shot worth posting.

I was out for about 4 hours and apart from the usual suspects and the Kestrel I spotted Skylarks, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Little Owl (I spent a good hour watching a tree that’s had a Little Owl nest for the past 2 years and was pleased to spot this years possible incumbent) and watched briefly a courting pair of pheasant.

The only half decent shots I managed where of a Horse Chestnut budding.

Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut

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…session in six days on Tuesday morning, we have to take our opportunities when we can now that autumn is upon us and the weather as become unsettled or should I say more unsettled!

A team of 5 turned out for this session plus 2 newcomers along for a first look. I was somewhat spoilt with 3 of the team being trainers with about 300 years experience between them! The weather was quite breezy with a slight chill at times and there was a threat of rain in the air for large parts of the morning however it did stay away.

The weather probably did play apart in the catch count and we only managed about 60 or so birds the highlight being another juvenile male Sparrowhawk, the fourth one in as many weeks. The most common this session was the lovely little Chiffchaff  we did spot a large flock of Goldfinch but unfortunately they avoided our nets which was a shame.

13 birds ringed myself with another half-dozen or so extractions.

  1. Chiff (Chiffchaff) x 8
  2. Bluti (Blue tit) x 2
  3. Reewa (Reed Warbler) x 1
  4. Robin x 1
  5. Swall (Swallow) x 1

The photographs below are the above mentioned Sparrowhawk and a Little Owl from last Thursdays session.

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…so far, a Little Owl nestling perched just above the nest hole. I’ve spent a total of 14 hours trying to get a shot of the Little Owl adults over the past few weeks and this evening I went one better and got the nestling. I also saw the adult fly by with a vole grasped tightly in its talons on its way to feed its young. I did get a couple of shots off but they turned out blurred!

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…a walk over the farm to try to photograph the Little Owl that I know frequents the area, I spent over 2 hours in my hide and didn’t see it once, I did however see a Jay at close quarters, it landed just in front of me on an old tree stump no more than 2m away I froze and watched it for 20 seconds or so then slowly tried to refocus my camera but it saw the movement and flew off, so no photograph! Jays are beautiful birds with a very colourful plumage.

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