Tuesday March 20th 2012
It’s been two weeks since my last blog. There have been some holidays, and a bereavement, which meant I didn’t have time to write one.
The visitor season commences this coming weekend, and the birds are all up to scratch; they will enable us to hit the ground running.
We have our first confirmed breeding of this year in the form of American Barn Owls. We can hear owlet noises coming from the nest box, and the male is straight out for food at feeding time, which is then followed by ‘shouting’ from the nest box. We have a few other species which are due, but we haven’t confirmed whether they have hatched yet.
There are other signs that spring are advancing, last week I was helping clear some of the old growth from round the wildlife pond, and overnight there suddenly appeared this carpet of Lesser Celandine with their beautiful shiny yellow star shaped flowers. The Dragonfly pond has, for the first time, got frog spawn in it. This has to confirm that the work we did there a few years is now paying off.
We had a bit of rain overnight on Friday, and the following day I went in to clean Tythe the Barn Owl’s water dish to find it had a Common Newt stranded in it. I relocated it to the aforementioned Dragonfly pond, a more appropriate spot.
Sticking with wildlife, for years now, I have been saying that it’s worth paying attention when seeing Buzzards soaring over the Lake District because one day they will turn out to be Red Kites. I was on my way to Barrow on the A595 between Kirkby in Furness and Askam, when I saw three Buzzards soaring above. I happened to catch the shape of the wing tip of the nearest one, which caused me to pull over for a better look, and sure enough, directly above me was this majestic Red Kite, unmistakable with its forked tail. I was chuffed to bits. This was the first time I’ve seen a Kite in Cumbria. I couldn’t see what the other two birds were, whether they were Kites as well. I have seen Red Kites and Buzzards in the air together. They have similar flight patterns, both being broadwings. They even have the same shallow ‘V’ with slightly upturned wings. I have to say that this sighting made my week!
See you in a fortnight. (I’m off next week)
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The World Owl Trust is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). The Trust relies on a dedicated membership, visitors, donations and legacies.