In Wakefield, the tawny owl family is doing well. One of the youngsters left the nestbox earlier this week and a second one has been preparing to go by scrambling up to the entrance hole. As well as bringing in birds and small mammals, the adults have been seen feeding frogs to the youngsters.
The first tawny chick to leave the box.
The second chick trying to get to the entrance.
There is lots of dense ivy and a large Lleylandii hedge close to the box to provide the necessary cover in which fledgelings can hide during the daytime.
Meanwhile, Young barn owls at a site in the Wakefield area have grown well and have been starting to look outside their nestbox this week.
Young barn owls.
The old nature reserve around the top lake at Bretton is always a beautiful place to visit at this time of year. There are swathes of bluebells and greater stitchwort interspersed with yellow archangel and red campion giving a most attractive mix of colours. The footpath edges are lined with unobtrusive wood speedwell, occasional bush vetch and the last of the common dog violets. There are many other species to be seen in the damp water edges – bright yellow kingcups are probably the most obvious. I thought the bird life was rather sparser than I remembered and the chilly wind meant we saw only one butterfly – a green veined white. The lovely picture was taken by Barbara Murray.