Barn Owls In Decline

January 26, 2014 at 3:18 pm

BarnOwl 14
Following on from the wet Summer of 2012 and the cold Spring of 2013 we have now had more than two months of rain, much of which has fallen over night. This combination has been a disaster for Barn Owls with the recent report suggesting that there are now only 1000 pairs left breeding in Britain. This suggestion is confirmed in Greater Manchester where only five pairs bred successfully last year.  The most successful of these was a pair that fledged five young on the outskirts of Rochdale. Sadly the female has just been found drowned in a horse trough so the local situation goes from bad to worse. Horse troughs are the nemesis of  many British Barn Owls. Click here for Barn Owl photos.

With the inclement weather I have spent most of the week filming in the garden. The Long Tailed Tit party peeked at fourteen and during two nights two Tawny Owls were very vocal. Along the canal on the 21st a Kingfisher was fishing and is always a star bird to encounter.The most surprising event of the week was the finding of two plants of Herb Robert in full flower!!