After four pretty hard weeks dealing with all the things that need sorting when you move into a new house, today we finally found the time to go to the Gloucester Barn Owl Centre and collect an owl box. See http://www.barnowl.co.uk for more information. We are now the proud owner of owl box No. 2383.
The staff on site were very helpful and showed us how to put up the owl box, how to clean and maintain it, and what we could expect to move in (grey squirrels, kestrels, little owls, jackdaws, and maybe, just maybe, a barn owl!)
The owl box is much larger than expected and of a very solid construction, and supplied with all the required fittings and a set of printed instructions. By buying an owl box you support the centre, a Charity, so your money is well spent. You van buy the boxes on Ebay; or direct from the centre through their secure online shop: http://www.barnowl.co.uk/product6.asp ; or collect them to save on postage and packing.
The box and its location is recorded, and if and when owls move in we will allow access so the chicks can be ringed and the data used for further research.
We will put it up this Easter weekend – when it stops raining! It has to be some 10’-15’ off the ground, in a quite open location so any ‘passing’ owls can see it and think the opening is a natural hole in a tree. We will try to locate it so that it may just be possible to observe the owls from our letting room ‘Sudeley’, but you will need a pair of binoculars as it some 100 yards out in the garden.
The far end of our garden, behind the conservation woodland, backs onto an area of uncultivated land, and our neighbours’ gardens around the proposed site of the owl box are also quite wild, so that should be ideal habitat for the owls’ natural prey: The short-tailed vole; other rodents include shrews, and wood mice.
And just changing the subject: Our first website is now up and running - and we can accept bookings and payments online. Please review www.cotswoldsaccommodation.net