21 July 2020
I always like to ask either land owners or volunteers to accompany me when ringing Barn Owls or Pied Flycatchers. Without these people my project would simply not be the success it is. Not many people get to hold these precious little gems that we all really adore. Obviously it is all done under the watchful eye of myself and Steve who who both have schedule 1 licences. Steve also has a ringing licence which is something I have held of for the last 11 years or so. I thinkk the time has come for me to get my ringing licence in order for me to be able to ring Barn, Little and Tawny Owlets. I don`t think my eyesight is good enough to be able to ring smaller birds like the Redstarts and Pied Flycatchers so I will leave that to other ringers who I will invite to do so.
15 July 2020
Really disappointing to learn for the second year in a row Barn Owls have decided not to use this particular nest box which is situated on my friends farm just outside my village. We managed to attract them a few years ago and they successfully managed to raise a healthy clutch of 4 chicks during that time but have failed every year since. With that in mind I decided to raise the nest box higher inside the barn. I am hoping that this may suit a pair and hopefully it gets used every year. The barn itself is perfect for a family of Barn Owls. It rarely is in use and if it is used its usually for my friends horses during harsh winter months.
6 July 2020
I was lucky to be given some Cedar wood from Ross Murray of Llanover estate with the intention of making another Barn Owl nest box and a House Sparrow colony nest box. I did manage to make both nest boxes out of the Cedar given to me and as you can see in the images below the House Sparrow colony nest box looks great mounted of the red brick garden wall of the estate gardens. As you ca imagine it has a reasonably healthy number of house sparrows although number could benefit much more. Thank you to Ross Murray for donating such beautiful natural cedar wood.
3 July 2020
As previously mentioned I am really concentrating on Barn Owls for the next year or two. My aim is to double the number we currently have on my patch of Gwent. I have erect over twenty Barn Owl nest boxes but not all of them are situated in Gwent. I have 1 in Gloucestershire, 1 in Herefordshire, 2 in Powys and the remainder split between Torfaen and Monmouthshire. So the image above shows the difference in size of a Barn Owl nest box compared to a Tawny Owl nest box. The two smaller ones are for Tawny Owls and the larger one for Barn Owls. Thanks to my good friend Dave Tew for assisting me fitting this Barn Owl nest box.
1 July 2020
These were the fist chicks we ringed this year 3 very healthy chicks thankfully. Hopefully the first clutch of many this pair may produce. They managed to seek out this particular nest box within eight months of it being fitted to the tree. Other Barn Owl nest boxes I have fitted before now have taken up to six years before a pair take up residence.. I suppose there are a healthy number of Barn Owls in Gwent which is obviously very good. Now that there are numerous pairs in the area nesting sights are being sought out more. I do believe that you cannot erect to many nest boxes my attitude is the more there are the more choice there is. If there are a good variety it gives fussy pairs a good choice.
It was lovely to have Ross and Elizabeth Murray of Llanover Estate accompany us today ringing Barn Owl chicks.These 3 chicks are from the Barn Owl nest box I made for my friend Steve Roberts. We actually fitted this particular nest box to a grand old oak tree less than a year ago. It is situated in a wild flower meadow field behind Steve`s house where he can see it from his balcony.