I love this time of year, it really seems to cheer everyone up and the weather has been bliss especially for watching soaring Sparrowhawks and Buzzards above work.
I have taken on a massive project this summer and possibly to much for one man. My favourite patch of land has an old wet area which is known as the withy beds, I remember as a child going round there with the beds being full of water and a variety of species of wildfowl and other wildlife. Sadly now the beds are dried out due to a damaged bank and inundated with willow trees, so the plan is for a full renovation, which is going to mean a lot of tree removal and digging work. Obviously the breeding season holds the job up but that is fine by me, I can wander around it planning and plotting the task in hand.
I had what I think was two sad sights on the way to work the other morning, I say think because the first was what I thought was a dead Tawny Owl in the road but it had gone when I went back past but I was pretty certain it was a Tawny. It wouldn't surprise me as I have on several occasions driven down country lanes at night to meet a Tawny Owl sat in the middle of the road, maybe a missed mouse?
The second sad sight is a definate, a dead Barn Owl in the verge of the A55 by-pass, no doubt a collision with a vehicle and when you weigh about 12oz you don't stand much chance. I keep meaning to pull over to retrieve the body and see if it is rung to report its death and find out a little of its history but its on the central reservation verge and it would be pretty risky to get across to it. Its the 4th Barn Owl I have seen dead on roads this year, one I did manage to retrieve a ring number from and after reporting it I found out it was a young bird that had been rung only 5-6km away. Its a sad thing but a large amount of Barn Owls are killed on roads around Britain every year. If you see what you think is a dead owl or any bird of prey on the road I would recommend you leave it well alone for your own safety.
The Ospreys are still doing well, I'm trying to get a pass out tomorrow to visit Jemima Parry-Jones at the International Centre for Birds of Prey. I will come back to you in the next couple of days with some bird of prey news from around the world.