Wednesday 22nd May 2013
Quite an eventful week so far, for a variety of reasons; firstly the weather, always a favourite topic. Saturday saw some rather persistent rain, causing the Breeding Ground to take on its all too familiar aspect of 'The Somme' for the first time in a while. Secondly, many of this year's owlets decided that Saturday was going to be the day they all came out of the nest box for the first time, resulting in some rather 'soggy' Northern Hawk Owlets and White-faced Owlets. I had to go and persuade these owlets, much to their parents' disapproval, to move somewhere a bit drier. One of the Northern Hawk Owlets refused to take the hint; repeatedly moving back towards the front of the aviary where there wasn't any shelter. I’m glad to say the weather improved before this became a real problem.
While still on the subject of owlets, a female White-breasted Barn Owl has managed to successfully incubate her eggs in spite of her somewhat unorthodox choice of location; underneath a bush in the Laybourne aviary. I managed to see 2 owlets there yesterday. It is more than possible these are 'Fidget' the Barn Owl's younger siblings. Fidget is one of our display birds, and was featured on ITV's 'The Lakes' successful TV series. Fidget was also hatched in that particular location back in 2010.
I mentioned last week that I hadn't yet seen any Orange Tip butterflies. I happy to say I have seen 2 this week; one on Friday, and the other on Tuesday. It would appear to be quite a good year for their sole food plant; the Cuckoo Flower also known as Lady's Smock. One of the fields on the other side of Eskdale is covered in Cuckoo Flower, which is nice to see.
This coming weekend sees the start of the Muncaster Festival, which incorporates the Festival of Fools. I am scheduled to do the 'Walk on the Wild Side' guided walk on both Saturday and the following Tuesday. These walks take place at 12 noon, and are free to Muncaster visitors. The Meeting place is just outside the Owl Centre entrance unit. The walk will be conducted every day from Saturday the 25th up to and including Wednesday the 29th of May. Except for Saturday and Tuesday, the walk will be conducted by Millie Clarke, the World Owl Trust Conservation Officer.
See you 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.