Today Dad plans to move some of our relatives and friends around ready for the breeding season. And apparently this week is National Nest Box Week. Dad has fashioned several nest boxes for wild birds over the years and all of them have been occupied by blue tits. He bought Mum a bat box one year and a blue tit lived in that too. A friend of Pippas, that it was really meant for, lives in a plastic pipe in the roof of their cottage instead.
We have a water tower that overlooks our yard. Many years ago it used to house two two-hundred gallon tanks and supplied water to the big house. The outside is covered in honeysuckle and rose and there is an old door at the top which is a bit rotten. Barney the Barn Owl lives in here now. We don't see much of him usually, but a few years ago there were a pair nesting in there and sadly the male got caught on some barbed wire whilst hunting for his wife and their four very young chicks. He went to hospital, but they couldn't save him. Dad took over feeding duties and every day for weeks he ascended the tower by ladder to put mice and chicks (none of us, we hasten to add!) in for the rest of the family. Mum and Dad got in touch with an Owl man and he came and weighed and rung them. And between Dad and Mrs Owl all four babies survived! Even the little one! Gordon & Sylvia x