Wildlife at Middleton Hall

February 2014, Edition 16

The topic of conversation at the recent Sunday Carvery was the exciting news that the Tawny Owl has returned to the nest box.  Sonia Wade and Pat Webb have already enjoyed extensive viewing of the owl via our nest watch camera shown on the TV monitor near reception.  Do not be alarmed if you see these two sat at reception in their night attire as they will be on Owl watch duty!

We are hoping this year the Owls are as successful as in 2012 as last year it all went wrong with the female deserting one egg.  Feedback nationally was that 2013 was a very bad breeding year for the Tawny Owl due to a shortage of prey.  Anyone interested in viewing this year’s live feed, please feel free to watch the monitor at the main reception.

The lack of snow and frost so far this winter has been unusual. The downside of such mild conditions are the pests and diseases are not being killed off by Mother Nature.

We are supporting National Nest Box Week by holding a ‘Build your own Nest Box’ on Thursday 20th of February at 10:30am in the restaurant so come along and give it a go.

Sheila Brunstrom, Pat Webb and myself carried out the RSPB Garden Bird Watch, as in previous years, on the 25th of January. We had interesting results with a total of 26 species seen on site within an hour. The total is recorded of each species seen at any one time to avoid duplication. Highlights of the Garden Bird Watch included seeing 6 Nuthatches on site, a Tree Creeper, Sparrow Hawk, Marsh Tit and a large number of resident Tree Sparrows. Anyone interested in doing further fauna or flora studies this year please see me or any of the Garden team.

David Richardson, Head of Operations