With a good morning under our belt, we met up with our friend Jimmy Wagner and headed inland for an even better afternoon! For quite a while now Jimmy has been putting up hundreds of nest boxes, scattered all over the region. A large number of these nest boxes are for Owls, and these were the species we would be targeting today. For obvious reasons the location of the boxes are kept under wraps, so I will deliberately keep things as vague as possible. The first species we were going for was Long Eared Owl, and he had two boxes reasonably close to each other. Unfortunately the first box we visited was empty. I say unfortunately because Jimmy had visited the box six days beforehand and there were three chicks in, so it appears these had been taken by a predator of some kind. This is the unfortunate side of nature. Thankfully the next box had better results. There were three lovely, healthy chicks in and after Adrian fully went through what I had to do I had the pleasure of Ringing all three chicks. This was a totally new experience for me and it was a great thrill to do.
The second species we went for was the Tawny Owl, one of my favourite British birds. We had 4 boxes to visit and these were scattered all over the southwest of the county. Unfortunately a few of the chicks were a touch too young to Ring, but I did manage to Ring four individual chicks and we even managed to get an adult female as an extra bonus! The chicks were all incredibly cute, a lot cuter than the Longies bless them. All of the chicks Ringed were extremely easy to handle and behaved impeccably. Except one. The very last one of the day in fact. Who decided it would be a great idea to crap all over the groin area of my trousers! It was absolutely vile!!!! It was hot, wet and runny and it absolutely stunk! Again, the unfortunate side of nature.
While we were out we came across this little beauty, a Slow Worm. Its the first one I've ever seen, and I was surprised at how small it was. It topped off a fantastic day.