Wednesday, 26 August 2015
Cleaning out the Owl Box
The trees are showing signs of autumn, leaves are turning colour, falling into crisp and crunchy piles along the lane. Of course the schools go back next week, so the weather will probably improve, it usually does!
One job which has been on the 'To Do' list is cleaning out the owl box in our little patch of woodland. It is necessary to do that now, while the box is not being used, in the hope that the 'des res' will attract some honeymooning tawny owls again next year.
A few years ago we were incredibly lucky, for when the 'Owl Men' came around for their Spring check on the box, they found three of these little owlets. It was so exciting, a real gift from nature.
A few weeks later the owl men came back to weigh, measure and ring them - and once again, they were more than happy for us to watch the procedure.
They turned into real beauties.
Since that time the box has been variously occupied by squirrels and Jackdaws. No more owls - yet we hear them around the place each night, sometimes we even get to see them hunting in the wood.
Max climbed up the ladders while I held them steady. Just as well we did that bit of housekeeping for the box was filled with large sticks, twigs, moss, frayed bits of string, sheep wool, etc.
Here's one small example of what came cascading down
on to my unsuspecting head. A little warning, next time, would be appreciated. Never mind, it will be worth it if we can attract the tawnies.
ps Yes, I did squeal as what looked like a dead rat, complete with tail fell on my head. So thankful it turned out to be sheep's wool and a length of thick string...!