Tuesday 9th April 2013
Still waiting for that illusive spring. It would appear that the weather has ‘jammed’ in the cold setting. There are no spring flowers to speak of as yet. I think we may have an unusual situation in that many of the wild flower species that normally come in succession might now come all at once. We’ll have to wait and see.
It’s official! We have seen this season’s first owlet this morning. Vicky saw the first African Spotted Eagle Owlet on the CCTV. We’ve heard a few up until now, but this is the first one we’ve actually seen. I have personally heard owlet noise coming from the Barn Owl box in the barn end of the Laybourne as well as in the American Barn Owls in the Breeding Ground, and in with ‘Bert and Betty’, the top pair of Mackinder’s Eagle Owls, also in the Breeding Ground. As I’ve mentioned before, regardless of the weather, life goes on.
The Red Kite appears to have become a Muncaster resident now, as it is still with us a week later. It would appear to have been attracted by our own Red Kites. I tried feeding it on the front lawn. I threw some dead day old chicks out for it, as this is somewhere the Herons and Crows don’t expect to find food. I rather suspect that this particular individual is part of the release programme in Grizedale, and is no stranger to yellow chicks. I waited for it to fly low over the centre, and stood by the Wildlife Pond, ‘waving’ chicks in the air. Funnily enough, this happened at the same time as Peter Frost Pennington was ‘walking the pigs’. You can imagine people from the Home Counties witnessing this, and taking home with them; ‘tales from the wild north’, of large bearded men walking pigs and waving dead chickens in the air! Anyway, I got the Kite’s attention, and it followed me to the front lawn. It swooped down, when I walked back towards the Centre. The following day I tried it again, only to find it had settled on the Kite aviary roof, confirming my theory. On this occasion I managed to feed it from the aviary adjacent to the Kite aviary. At one stage it even indulged in some aerial piracy, by dive-bombing a heron which had been a bit quicker off the mark in getting a chick.
Meet The Birds was quite interesting, as we had soaring Buzzards and Ravens, as well as the Red Kite. Only when you put it into words do you realize how amazing that is, although I don’t think Mortimer would agree, as she was keeping a wary eye on what was going on. We’ll have to see how this ongoing saga will unfold.
See you next week
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