A couple of years ago we put up an Owl Box in the Oak tree at the bottom of the garden. I was specifically aimed at the Little Owls that we knew lived in and around that tree but it very soon became home to a family of squirrels instead!
Although strongly secured, it blew down in the gales last autumn and the squirrels decided to find somewhere else to live. We mended it, returned it to the tree and waited to see what would happen.
Once again the Little Owls have missed out – but this time it’s due to a Tawny Owl nesting in it! We have set up a camera and think that the eggs have probably not yet hatched as she leaves the nest at dusk to feed – joining the bats in swooping low over our patio as she flies in each direction.
The Little Owls, meanwhile, continue to be heard so we can only assume that they are happy where they are. There is a Barn Owl roost in some nearby farm buildings and they can often be seen coursing the field at the foot of our garden, so that makes the set.
Meanwhile, a Sparrow Hawk has built a nest in one of the trees on the boundary between the side of our garden and the neighbouring Orchard. Add the Kestrels that are also often seen over the field behind us and the three Buzzards that regularly soar overhead and it appears that Inglewood House is fast becoming a Raptor magnet – we are just waiting for the Red Kite from Bressingham Fen and the Marsh Harriers from Redgrave & Lopham Fen, which is about a mile away, to hear about us, too!
Most of our small bird nesting boxes are occupied by Robins, Great Tits and Blue Tits and we are looking forward to seeing the fledglings being brought to our various feeding stations by their grateful parents – and it has been great to see adult Dunnocks, Woodpeckers, Jays, Pigeons, Doves and Magpies visiting them to collect food for their youngsters.
We are hoping that the Swifts will soon be back in the skies of Norfolk and will be attracted to one of the Swift Boxes we have built into the gable end of the house.
On the other side of the garden we installed a Mason Bee habitat about a month ago and are delighted to see that four of the little residences are already taken.
Now all we need is the sun to remember to come out and warm us all up a bit………