Amazing Tawny Action and Badger Bonanza!

Arriving at Yew View this week, the sun was actually shining; a rare occurrence in what seems to have been a long winter of grey and dismal weather. We are all very ready for some Spring sunshine and it makes all the difference!

I was hoping to get the new Barn Owl Centre box up this week as it was too windy last week. Dave Harper came to help me and I wired a cable from the platform to the hub and we were ready to heave it up there. Being made of recycled plastic, it is much lighter than the wooden ones.

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The box is quite big and, in order to see both the base of the box and the entrance hole, I have had to mount the camera at a bit of an angle. Checking on my phone, it only took 2 days before the tawny checked it out. These are screen captures from my phone app!

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The tawnies are the big news this week! As I went through the week’s footage, I was delighted to see them visit every nights, sometimes several times a night.

Then we had our first prey in the box. Las year, we had prey exchanges outside, but not inside. This looked like a small bird… possibly a dunnock?

You can see the stills I lifted , on our Flickr account

I left, on Thursday, wondering if this might be the year that they nest! On Saturday, the female spent the day in the box. Then this morning, I checked my icatcher app on the phone… there was an egg in the nest box! Looking at the playback, I could see that the female laid an egg in the early hours, then left the box at about 4.30am. She did not return all day. Watching this evening, I was relieved to see her come back into the box. She hung around for a bit, then left again. Hopefully she will return again later. These images are screen captures from my phone…

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As you can imagine, we are all really excited and hope that this is THE year in the tawny box!

That wasn’t the only excitement …. we finally had a couple of visits to the tawny stump. You may remember that this has been a labour of love, tempting to create a natural nesting space and heaving it up the tree! Well, this week, they took a peek in…

I am happy now I know that they know it is there!

As if that was not enough excitement for one week, the badger sett has been extremely busy, with three individuals bringing nesting materials in and sleeping in the sett several times a night. They have not slept in there during the day yet, but we are getting closer to that I think.

In the second chamber, two appeared and seemed to get  little frisky!

As you can imagine, I am delighted with the footage we are starting to get from this sett. Maybe they’ll breed there next year!

Almost too much excitement for one week… but then Dave flew his drone and filmed the area. I have yet to upload the footage… that will come on another blog post… great fun though!

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