Well, what a rollercoaster that was!? Full-on activity since opening in mid-May… Then, suddenly… Gone! For all intents and purposes, it was like somebody had walked in and bagged them all up and vanished.
The good news, however, is that they are still there. After my initial panic… my assumption that they had gone nocturnal due to the influx of crows and rooks was correct. Thankfully! They are now back in daytime mode and feeding at the perches like nothing had happened. I am sorry I had to close the hides, but I felt it best to protect the owls from any more disturbance.
I reopened bookings at the weekend and the hide reopens today – giving the little owls a two respite. There are two fledgling chicks still in the farmhouse and they are only just making their way to the perches. The first flight for these fluffballs was Friday. I am assuming that the third (much more mature chick) has fledged and is now with the adult female in another roost.
It looks like we are almost fully booked with the 27th, 28th and 31st still available this month. I very much hope that the little owls will still be around in August, but you can just never tell. Last year, the owls left in early August. The year before they were around until September.
Once the fledglings leave the farmhouse, I will still put out the odd portion of mealworms and see if the adults and fledglings stick around. Last year, the adults remained in the area all winter and if that is the case this year, I will keep the hide open.