Saturday May 29th 2010
We are just about to enter the ‘craziest’ time of the year, namely ‘Fool Week’. This is a relatively new tradition at Muncaster. A competition takes place to decide who will be the current ‘Fool of Muncaster’, where entrants from all over the world come to enter, and entertain the crowds with madcap capers. This is likely to be the busiest week of the year. I have a confession to make, in that this will be my first time at Fool Week. We will be setting up gazebos at strategic points, to have a presence during this time. I thought of entering ‘Mortimer’ the Buzzard in the competition, I think she would suit a fool’s hat with little bells on it, but I think she would have an unfair advantage, as only ‘She’ can raise a laugh just by walking on the lawn. She will just have look on from the sidelines.
There’s going to be a noteworthy event happening on the 3rd of September, namely a gig; ‘Billy Mitchell and Bob Fox’, formerly of Lindisfarne and Fairport convention. The tickets are available here - select the World Owl Trust Charity Concert from the “Select the tickets you’d like to buy” drop-down list. It promises to be a good gig. The music will be folk music in the north east tradition.
Round the centre, a lot of the owlets are making their way out of the nests now. This week the Great Grey owlets, the Boobook owlets, and the Western Screech owlets have all made their first public appearances this week. While I am writing this, Terry Evison is trying to get some photos for this blog. The Great Grey owlets in the Main Display can be seen on the webcam at present. The Long-eared owlets in the Laybourne have now dispersed from the nest site, and can be seen perching high up near the Barn Owl boxes, which means they can get off the ground in case of wet weather, which puts our minds at rest.
There has been an ‘intriguing’ development with our Spectacled owls. They laid eggs, but are by our, by our calculations, well overdue. This week however, the male has started to take food into the nestbox, which is ‘interesting’. Keep your fingers crossed, as we haven’t bred this species for many years.
I have just spoken to Terry, and it turns out that the Western Screech owlet has gone back into hiding, so I won’t be able to show you this particular owlet this week. However, they look very similar to the Tropical Screech owlets which I photographed last week. There is a photo I would Like you to see though, and which illustrates that it is ‘Breeding Season’ not only for owls, but for the rest of the natural world as well. This photo was sent in by a visitor. I don’t know this person’s name, but whoever you are, I think you should be proud of this one. It was taken on the steps in the Owl Garden a few weeks ago. Terry also made some pictures of the young Boobook Owls in the Main Display which I will include.
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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.