Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Wildlife and bird conservationist Stephen Carter has been over the nest site twice since I last posted about the Barn Owls.
On his first visit the Owlets were very shy trying to hide in the corner from him but he did get a good image of one of them. They were both very healthy with a good supply of food around them, you can also see some of the unhatched eggs of the original clutch of 9.

the chicks trying to hide in the corner with some of the unhatched eggs.

barn owl chick (very cute)
He's been over again recently to check on them and due to the torrential rain and high winds we've had recently he feared the worst.
 But against the odds the barn owl chicks had grown quite a bit, were very healthy and also had a large larder of voles so the adult birds must be brilliant parents. They look more like Barn owls now and should hopefully leave the nest in about 3/4 weeks time.

Barnie chicks doing well despite the stormy weather they've had to put up with.
  Thanks again must go to schedule 1 licence owner Stephen Carter for supplying me with these photo's and the information. This is the only known site for breeding Barn owls in my area so we need more nest boxes put up and sites like this one to expand it's population.

Friday, 25 October 2013


The wife took me to the Welsh Wildlife Centre in Cilgerran in West Wales for my 50th birthday. We were booked on a ferry to go to Skomer Island to watch the sea birds and a bit of vis-mig (visual migration) but the weather was against us and so the ferry was cancelled due to rough seas "ah well".
We enjoyed the wildlife centre though it was only £3 to park your car and the rest was free there was also a lovely visitors centre with feeders so you could watch the birds in the dry and a nice little restaurant where we had our lunch after running from hide to hide dodging the rain showers.

visitors centre

that's a big badger

Tina at one of the hides

who's this 50 year old twitcher! ?
There wasn't a massive amount of birds seen but the weather was atrocious, we managed a few photo's but didn't get the kingfisher it kept flying passed the hide but never settled for us to grab a picture.

where's that kingfisher?

grey heron


carrion crow


canada goose
These last two images was taken by Tina, think they're the best of the lot but don't tell her that, I'll never live it down!

canada goose just landing

mute swan
 Big thanks to the wife for a cracking weekend, also to my sister Pat and brother-in-law John for giving us the guided tour of Cardigan and a good night out. Cheers.


Tuesday, 1 October 2013


I was lucky enough to be invited to an undisclosed Barn Owl site today with Stephen Carter and Lee Parsons. Steve is a schedule 1 licence owner for Barn Owls so he is allowed to check the nest and photograph the birds.
Barn Owls suffered quite a bit during the early spring with breeding attempts all over the country failing badly due to the freezing temperatures. The adult birds themselves had quite high mortality rates they  just couldn't find enough food in the cold weather to sustain themselves let alone a brood of hungry owlets.
The reports are now that Barn Owls are having successful late broods so should hopefully bounce back. They usually nest between April - June but have been recorded breeding in every month of the year except January.
On Steve's last visit there were 9 eggs in the nest which is really just a pile of the birds regurgitated pellets.

the nine barn owl eggs

On this visit there were only 2 chicks that had made it this far but they were very healthy and very sleepy with a small larder of voles to keep them going.

2 sleepy barn owl chicks
 We also saw the female adult bird as she flew out of the nest, a beautiful bird pity the photographs didn't do it justice. The light was pretty poor so I suppose we can't complain at least we got an image.

the female Barn Owl flying from the nest site

stunning bird pity about the pic's

Blurry Barn Owl

best shot of the lot of the Barnies backside

Big thanks to Steve and Lee and lets hope the weather is kind to the Owls and them 2 remaining chicks make it. Steve will be back at the site to ring the chicks in a week or two so I hope to keep you updated on their progress. Once again cheers fellas brilliant experience.