Owlet Wood Update
Well here we are, summer time, though around the Owlets with the weather as it is, you would never have thought we are now officially into summer, the exact opposite to last year!
What’s happening around the Owlets? Well, a couple of weeks ago with the help of James our site manager, we carried out repairs to one of the bird viewing areas ,which unfortunately had been vandalised. However, we quickly repaired the damage with my trusty drill, a box of screws and a small pair of step ladders.
Other than that, apart from some slight damage to the perimeter fencing ,which the high winds and weak branches caused, all is in a good state of repair.
Onto the wildlife situation, which is my main interest in the Owlets. Having been going into the wood for far more years than I care to remember I have seen, many changes over the years. Over the last few years these seem to be accelerating and are, wildlife wise, very disturbing.
Whilst we have many birds calling the wood home, the majority are of the common garden variety which most people see in their gardens at home, namely,blue tit,great tit,robin,and wren. Many have chosen to nest in the nest boxes we have made and installed over the last couple of years.
Unfortunately the numbers of our summer visitors are not doing so well. Willow warbler and chiffchaff numbers are down again this year, blackcap, though abundant in numbers last year (the most I have seen), seem to be down this year. Spotted flycatcher numbers have plummeted, I have not seen a nesting pair this year. I am just hoping it doesn’t follow the way of the wood warblers, woodcock ,lesser spotted woodpeckers and willow tits, all species which have now been absent from the wood for several years.
On the positive side the nuthatch and tree creepers have again nested in the woodland and a barn owl has actually been roosting for the last 5 months in one of the tawny owl boxes we made and erected 18 months ago. We are hoping it will get a partner and nest in the box, still time and I have my fingers crossed.
This autumn we are planning to do more work on one of the bird hides, which is used quite a lot, particularly in winter when I am topping the feeders up virtually every day and attracting plenty of the local avian fraternity.
I will close this update with a few pics from the wood of some of our wildlife of varying sizes.
Des Lloyd Volunteer Warden