No, It’s nothing to do with Coronavirus, Donald Trump, Boris, the NHS or Brexit. Even though it’s not going to make the papers, for me, it’s more exciting than any of those. Tonight at 7pm, I went down the garden to feed my tawny owl his day old chick. He flew into my neighbour’s sycamore briefly and then left when I approached the apple tree stump where I leave the chick. It was pretty dark and he must have flown in to retrieve the chick without me seeing him because when I checked, it had gone. I next heard him calling from down the field and right on cue, a female answered from the nest box above my head. A few seconds later, I heard the familiar scratching as she made her way up the inside of the box to the entrance, and flew silently down the field to join him.
Update – I’ve had my trailcam on the box for the last couple of nights and there’s quite a lot of activity and plenty of noise when one flies in. Tonight, the same procedure. Our male flew in at dusk to retrieve his chick and took it down the field. Within seconds he called, was answered by the female in the box and she flew down to meet him. I’m hoping he’s sharing his chick…
I’ve been hoping for this ever since the young male left the very same box almost 2 years ago. He’s now mature enough to breed and I’m fairly sure this is him and his new mate hoping to raise a chick or two in our garden.
He fledged on 20th May 2018 so it’s just over two months before we might see his offspring appear. I’m keeping my fingers firmly crossed. Keep an eye on this post and I’ll keep you updated if and when anything else transpires.
Xtra Update – They definitely are creatures of habit, these two. I’ve been monitoring them closely over the past few evenings and their practice is exactly the same every night. He turns up at dusk, takes the chick down the field where, on his arrival, he calls for his mate. She answers his call, leaves the box and goes to meet him. I watched from the field one night and they met in the oak tree in the middle of the field where, I’m fairly sure, he passed the chick to her. There’s quite a bit of activity during the night. Typically, eggs are laid mid to late March with young hatching 30 days later, In that case, we probably don’t have any chicks yet but I’m sure it will become obvious when we have a marked increase in movement.