Tuesday 6 June 2023

Sculthorpe Moor - 5th June 2023

The youngest owlet was completely downy.

ERB rings the second owlet.

 An evening set aside for ringing juveniles of the year with ERB. The Barn Owls in their specially build shed have three young in the box, between 4 and 5 weeks old. Two adults emerged as we entered the shed and although these evaded the hand net at the access hole of their box the nestlings were quickly ringed. Barn Owl hatching is asynchronous so ages of owlets can differ by up to three weeks. Incubation starts with the first egg with additional eggs laid over the next 8 to 21 days.

The third and oldest owlet had primary feathers emerging

The next task was to locate, collect and ring wader chicks on the scrape. The water levels are much higher than last year and there are definitely fewer young. Black-headed Gulls are in residence, however there are no chicks as yet and close inspection of a few nests showed that none are actually on eggs. Two pairs of Little Ringed Plover were seen, along with two well grown chicks but they were on an area too soft to be walked on and they remained out of reach. Lapwings at the back of the scrape had two or three young, again not accessible. It is unclear whether the Oystercatchers have made a breeding attempt.

So apart from the Barn Owls we were unsuccessful but we had an unexpected bonus, successfully observing the female Beaver feeding on the opposite bank of the ditch. In a year of monitoring the birds in the beaver enclosure, this is our first clear sighting of beaver.


Total: 3

Barn Owl pulli - 3