With my trip to Maryland, I had not been at Yew View for a few weeks, so was greatly pleased to see that I had a few more tawny clips to upload. When I left two weeks ago, the owlets had branched and I was sceptical about whether I would see them again for a while.
Although we hear the adults around, we don’t see them much after the youngsters have fledged, until they return toward the end of the year, ready to claim the box again. This year, the female (I think) has been returning to the box with prey. She has been coming in with some large bird prey and then storing it in the box and returning for it the following night.
I have observed them doing this toward the end of the year, when they start coming back to the box, before breeding starts. It makes sense to hide a large prey item away somewhere safe if you can’t eat it all in one sitting and these look like they have been taken from nests.
Tawnies will take fledglings and will often ‘monitor’ an area for nests, returning when the fledglings are worth eating! I filmed it a few years ago when we had a jackdaw nesting in an owl box. The tawny visited a couple of times, scaring off the jackdaw at night and looking at the nest. It kept returning until the eggs had hatched….. then took all the chicks, one by one.
It was lovely to see one of the owlets return to the platform nearly a week after it left. It must have been in the trees nearby, but we struggled to find them this year. The adult plumage is really starting to develop and the facial disc is beginning to appear. It looks well and healthy and great to see it again!
Whilst the family was being raised, the male spent time roosting in the Owl Mansion at the other end of the garden. I filmed it this week, with prey. It has also been inside the box dueing the day and sitting on the veranda if the weather is good ….
We haven’t had a tremendous amount of activity in the badger sett in the last few months. They sporadically come and use it for . week or so and then we don’t see them for ages. This individual came in on a number of evenings and slept for several hours here.
With this year’s nesting season coming to an end now, I am starting to plan next year’s projects… some exciting plans, so watch this space!