We had been hoping that the Tawny Owl pair would settle down in my new nest box. However this doesn't seem to have happened. Both were roosting in our spruce trees until 9th April 2010; since then we have only seen one owl. Does this mean that the female is elsewhere? It has been suggested that the owls may not be breeding because they'd have a harsh winter with little food available while snow was covering the ground from December through to March.
Caz has been collecting Tawny Owl pellets from under our spruces since January and sending them off each month for analysis by the Mammal Society. During March 2010, these were the results:
|Species||Number of prey items|
|very large bird||1|
|No of pellets:||33|
Pygmy shrew and Water shrew have appeared in the list for the first time. There are no water courses very close to us; the owls must have been ranging wider (down to the River Lowther?). Bird prey items are divided into 5 categories; a 'very large bird' might be a pheasant.
The linked table below shows the maximum count of each bird species seen primarily in our back garden near Bampton Cumbria in NY51 VC69 (and in our surrounding 1km square) in the period from November 2007 until April 2010, with a total count of 47 species.
|Great spotted woodpecker||2|