On the 17th March two young Tawny Owls fledged from a nest box in Castleton making them the earliest I have ever recorded in the last fifty years. The first egg would have been laid on or about the 15th January and it begs the question did the owls know when they laid their eggs there would be very little snow after that date? I have often thought that birds can predict the weather ahead and this early laying re-enforces this theory.
During the week I have filmed a pair of Long Tailed Tits building a nest in a fork in a tree. This type of Long Tailed Tit’s nest is not that common and I have only ever seen one like it before,
In the hills a female Long Eared Owl was incubating eggs on the 19th, which is five days later than last year. Another pair were together and ready to commence breeding and a Woodcock was still present in an area of bracken and hopefully may stay to breed.
A search for Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers failed to locate any at an old breeding site in Yorkshire and this species is now in serious decline. This wood did in fact produce Bluebells in flower and Sycamores in leaf!