In his interim newsletter for the West Berkshire Countryside Society’s Barn Owl Group, John Dellow reported that 2016 is turning out to be a good season. Depending on further box results and the success or otherwise of second broods it might turn out to be a very good season. However, it is a ‘late’ season: many first broods were only just hatching around the end of June, leaving little time for second broods.
At the end of June the total of chicks plus eggs recorded from the 147 boxes monitored was 97; though it is unlikely that all will fledge, it seems very likely that this year’s number of fledglings will considerably exceed the 31 in 2015.
The population of short-tailed voles goes up and down with a peak every four years. 2014 was a peak year and this was followed by a dip in 2015. It is now clear that the population is recovering making 2016 a much better year with an even better year in prospect for 2017.