This spring, at Fullers Hill Cottages, we have had a real treat. A pair of Barn Owls are frequently seen around the farm. They fly between the trees and buildings and hunt in the hedgerows. Both were recently seen diving into the long grass by the windsock on the far side of the airfield.
The most recent sighting was one of them hunting immediately opposite the farm gate just before dusk on the 5th April 2015.
It is possible that they might be nesting on the farm in one of the owl boxes, but this is not confirmed.
It is a delight to see such a rare bird at Fullers Hill Cottages. The freezing cold spring of 2013 was a disaster for Barn Owls across the country. Just when food stocks were at their seasonal low, in late March, the heaviest snow for many years fell. The cold snap lasted a further 6 weeks and many owls, nationwide, simply starved. To see owls returning is a pure delight.
At Fullers Hill Cottages, we have a huge range of birds, including many on the RSPB red and yellow alert list. These include a good population of Skylarks and Corn Buntings. In recent years the RSPB carried trails to seek ways to improve upon the nesting habitats for Corn Buntings. Our rare bird sightings include Yellow Hammers and Yellow Wagtails.
One recent sighting that was very welcome was a Red Kite. Whilst populations of Red Kites are very healthy in other parts of the country, they are still a seldom seen bird in these sky’s above Fullers Hill Cottages.
We can’t not guarantee any of these sightings, but it is well worth a quiet walk around the farm and towards the wood at dusk.
Each of our four cottages has a jar of homemade chutney or marmalade for our guests to take home. We encourage a £2 donation to the local RSPB.
Thank you to www.bocn.org for their Barn Owl photo.