14 August 2013

It started with a text

Last Sunday I was heading South with Claire on my latest work trip.

We had just set off from our friend's house near Lanark after stopping off for a chat and lunch when I got a text message from Seumus. I pulled over thinking it may be to do with some ringing on the Sunday evening and asking if I was interested. However when I pulled into the next lay-by to check the message I was in for a surprise.

It was a short message which simply said 'Have you ringed Barn Owl Dave?'

Wow, that wasn't the sort of message I was expecting. My reply was also short and simple - 'No. Are you offering?'

A couple of minutes later and the mobile rang and it was Seumus. After a quick conversation a get together had been arranged for tonight at 7pm.

So bang on 7pm Claire and myself arrived at the farm near Garstang where the Barn Owl nest box was located. After being introduced to Robert the farmer and Huw, a fellow trainee ringer, we all went to the barn where the nest box was located.

Diana, Robert's wife arrived just in time to see the chicks.

Robert and Seumus went up into the higher level of the barn to see how many owl chicks were in the box. A few minutes later they were back down with two chicks. One each for Huw and me to ring and a new species for both of us.

Last year Seumus ringed some Barn owl chicks from the same box, but they were done back in June, so this year's brood are somewhat later. Both birds looked in good health and were fairly well developed with the instantly recognizable facial features.

Me and one of the Barn Owl chicks
It won't be long before this one will be flying
With both birds ringed I got the opportunity to put the chicks back into the nest box, which was a strong contender for the smelliest nest!!

Thanks to Seumus for giving me the heads up and a big thank you to Robert and Diana for making us welcome on their farm and for the brew and biscuits afterwards.

No comments:

Post a Comment