Friday, 16 January 2015

Grey Squirrel 16 - Tawny Owl 0

Hello

Eleanor spent some time in the Brampton Valley below Hanging Houghton this morning, the cooler weather seemingly causing some regional bird movement. An adult male Peregrine was present and very much interested in the flock of about two hundred Golden Plovers on the fields. The high water level of the brook had attracted a Little Egret and a Little Grebe and two Ravens were still present.

Neil H and I spent the day clearing out big nest-boxes on the reserve at Pitsford Reservoir.  Most of these boxes have been erected to support the local Tawny Owl population but most years a few other bird species use them too. With just two exceptions though the boxes today were full of Grey Squirrel drey material and often Grey Squirrels too! Tawny Owls tend to begin their nesting efforts early in the year and I would like to think that our efforts at evicting the grey-furred rodents today will at least give the Tawnies a chance to take back the boxes before the squirrels trash them again!

A Great White Egret was in the Walgrave Bay this morning and single Chiffchaffs were present in the Holcot and Scaldwell Bays. This afternoon there was a movement of big gulls evident, an example being a mixed flock resting on the water in front of the Maytrees Hide which included 94 Herring Gulls and 33 Great Black-backed Gulls. The Cormorant roost at The Point reached at least 95 birds.

Regards

Neil M
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