Three weeks ago a tawny owl was seen in the strip of woodland between Lambrok Meadow and Kestrel Field.
Lambrok Meadow’s noisy gang of magpies had spotted it and were trying to chase it away; it would have preferred to spend its day sitting in a tree making the most of its extrordinary camouflage. In escaping the magpies, it swooped so low that it brushed the head of one of FoSCP’s volunteers.
The park is excellent territory for owls; there are thriving field vole colonies in Kestrel Field and in the Church Lane field across the other side of the Lambrok. The woods are filled with mice, the streams with frogs, and there is plenty of daytime cover.
There must be many natural nest sites in our old trees as well as a number of owl boxes. Something has refurbish a box, very near to where the owl was seen, with new oak twigs. We are hoping it might be owls rather than squirrels.
Tawny owls have reared chicks successfully in the park’s owl boxes before and it would be lovely to see another nestful of owlets. Last year, in March a pair of barn owls visited and hunted in the park for a couple of weeks; we thought they might stay and nest but the Beast from the East arrived, the temperature fell below freezing and, like a lot of birds, they seemed to delay breeding and moved on.
Here’s hoping for a better outcome this year.
Photographs as attributed
Header picture: by nottsexminer [CC BY-SA 2.0]