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The return of the Barn Owl

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Old Monday 16th February 2004, 15:33   #1
Elizabeth Bigg
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The return of the Barn Owl

This was the heading of an article in my newly arrived National Trust newletter for Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey.

It went on to say:

A beautiful Barn Owl has returned to Leith Hill after a period of 20 years following countryside stewardship work, which included erecting owl nest-boxes in some of the ancient hedgerow oaks.
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Old Monday 16th February 2004, 22:09   #2
Padraig
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That's good news Elizabeth. The Barn Owl is among my favourite birds and it is tragic that numbers have been decimated over the last 50 years.

Apparently it was difficult to walk out at night in rural Devon without seeing one.

I went all last year without seeing one.

I've seen 3 already this year but all over the east side- one in Kent and two in Norfolk.

Regards,

Padraig.
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Old Tuesday 17th February 2004, 08:39   #3
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Good news indeed Elizabeth.

I've been helping the Harewood Estate near Leeds with Countryside Stewardship Work over the last few years. They have placed owl boxes and created some good habitat for hunting. This winter a Barn Owl has been sighted many times, has checked out the nest boxes and hopefully will stay to breed! This is the first sighting here for over 30 years! Just goes to show that the countryside stewardship scheme can produce some environbmental benefits.

PP
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Old Tuesday 17th February 2004, 22:48   #4
StevieEvans
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Positive News Elizabeth ! Excellent.

They're increasing in parts of Co.D'ham also.

StevieE
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Old Thursday 19th February 2004, 18:34   #5
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This is very good news as i cant remember the last time i saw them in Surrey.See them every time in North Norfolk but that is possibly the best place in the country to see them.
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Old Wednesday 16th June 2004, 23:17   #6
StevieEvans
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Thumbs up extra owls...........?

Hello
Thought i'd resurrect this rather than start a fresh thread.

Rounding a corner today & got a Very Nice view of a Barn Owl carrying prey across the road !

The time was 6PM & warm & sunny!

Pulled over to watch it hunting again. Brilliant!

I presume it has young waiting to be fed...?

#It was all the more surprising as the area is relatively exposed on the moorland edge & wasn't know to have had Barn owls.

Quite possibly 'Extra Owls' which have expanded their range due to 10years of mild winters in a previously harsh winter weather area.

Hope to locate the actual breeding site soon.

SE.
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Old Saturday 3rd July 2004, 22:38   #7
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It would likely have been a male raising the young of first brood while also having to feed his mate sitting on a second clutch. Tom.
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Old Sunday 4th July 2004, 10:50   #8
StevieEvans
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Hi Tom
Interesting thought.
Apparently a poor vole year (local Long eared's have small clutches).
Maybe it was just having to hunt 'overtime' to find enough prey.....??
Having said that i hope your idea is the right one !!


We set out at 2.30AM yesterday & got down to Ousefleet, nr Goole for first light.
A Barnie was hunting the roadside for 1/2 a mile. We had brilliant close range views of this bird & another hunting, diving into the tall grass & plants.


There's breeding Barn owls close to us at home (i have one on my 'garden list) but Allways have more success in seeing them in other parts of the Country, predominantly areas with a flatter, more level landscape & therefore a wider field of view.

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Old Monday 5th July 2004, 21:47   #9
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They're often found near a marshy area,frogs replace a lack of voles.
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Old Wednesday 7th July 2004, 11:07   #10
StevieEvans
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Very interesting Thomas.

Who are your sources of information? If this is from your own work is it published?

Is it solely frogs that these owls turn to? , or all amphibians?

Look forward to more info regarding this.

Regards Stevie.
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Old Wednesday 7th July 2004, 11:38   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkpigeon
Good news indeed Elizabeth.

I've been helping the Harewood Estate near Leeds with Countryside Stewardship Work over the last few years. They have placed owl boxes and created some good habitat for hunting. This winter a Barn Owl has been sighted many times, has checked out the nest boxes and hopefully will stay to breed! This is the first sighting here for over 30 years! Just goes to show that the countryside stewardship scheme can produce some environbmental benefits.

PP
You seem to be doing a great job at Harewood with the red kites as well PP
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Old Wednesday 7th July 2004, 14:18   #12
John N
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth Bigg
This was the heading of an article in my newly arrived National Trust newletter for Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey.

It went on to say:

A beautiful Barn Owl has returned to Leith Hill after a period of 20 years following countryside stewardship work, which included erecting owl nest-boxes in some of the ancient hedgerow oaks.
Fantastic news Elizabeth, owls are among my favourite group of Birds and this morning (2-30am) I was wakened by the call of a Barn Owl. I listened and watched for a minute or two and saw it fly across our garden and into a field. It is the first I have seen locally for about 5years. This made my day. John.
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Old Wednesday 14th July 2004, 10:06   #13
StevieEvans
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Thomas,
any chance in giving us some more info regarding those frogs........ ?

Watched a pair of Barn Owls " hide " last night as two local air gunners were after rabbits, only for the birds to re-appear when the coast was clear...

Wise old Owls !

John, thats one of the few things you dont mind getting woken up by! Barn owl in the garden, Great!
Stevie.
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Old Thursday 22nd July 2004, 16:40   #14
StevieEvans
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Thomas,
You still there? on ya hols maybe? A reply would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

One hunting bird at Port Carlisle during the week & an Otter & Peregrine.

SE.
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Old Friday 23rd July 2004, 00:43   #15
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Here in Amish Country, Ohio the Amish farmers have been responsible for bring many Barn Owls back to the area by providing openings for nesting sites high up in their barns. We've noticed a decline in Great Horned Owls, however. Bill
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Old Friday 23rd July 2004, 09:35   #16
StevieEvans
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Hi Bill
Thats very good to hear.
I think that nest site provision is very important in helping this species, also saves money on rodenticides.

Are the Amish farms fully mechanised & hi-tech ? or is it old fashioned methods.

Not so good for the GHOwls though... whats happened there ? habitat loss?

Stevie.
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Old Thursday 8th September 2005, 15:58   #17
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Hi all,

When i'm not busy with photography, I like flyfishing, especially rivers and by chance I was fishing a private stretch of the Wharfe up at Harewood when I saw a barn owl. After reading this forum post I've been down there a few times this year and I've seen this particular owl a few times.

Has anyone thought of doing a piece on these owls' comeback into the area?

I might just do a photographic diary of the lives of these birds myself.

Regards
Hedward
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Old Thursday 8th September 2005, 20:44   #18
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Barn Owl & Frogs

A belated reply Stevie and apologies (off line for a long time).
It would appear that the common frog is easily caught and large enough to be seen/heard.Personally it 's the only amphibian i know to be eaten.The smell in a nest site is rank under normal habits but when frogs are on the menu...it reeks!My colleagues and i have nothing published but a good reference is The Barn Owl by Colin Shawyer (Arlequin press).
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Old Sunday 11th September 2005, 10:35   #19
carol poole
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barn owl s w lancs

the numbers are on the up here too a min of fifty pairs in my area with at least another four further north most managed to fledge also best year ever for long eared with good success. also little did well and short eared got off as well. only blot really is tawny i only got one brood and a few probables with at least four killed on local roads in fact this owl has now become the most numerous road kill victim locally. disturbing really
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Old Sunday 11th September 2005, 19:40   #20
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I work nights driving between Camberley (Surrey), Milton Keynes (Bucks) and Bristol (Avon) and I reckon to see at least 3 barn owls per week plus a similar number of Tawnys.

Pete
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Old Wednesday 14th September 2005, 20:38   #21
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Owls are getting more common again it seems.
I can remember looking out of my bedroom window in the suburbs of London back in the 70's to see a barn owl watching me from next doors guttering. I have just built a Tawny owl box at work and hope that the resident hooter moves in this year.
I am so pleased thay are returning to this country again!
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