2010 We commenced a project to assist the Barn owls in our area.
To these ends we put up two nesting boxes on land we had just purchased, one in the edge of a wood and the other in a solitary tree on the open marsh at Rockland St Mary.
These were put up in the February with advice obtained and we were surprised to find both boxes occupied almost immediately. That year we raised 3 chicks in each box, which were duly ringed in the June. Unfortunately sometime during the hard winter one chick died. PHOTOS
2011 again both boxes were occupied and we have ringed the two chicks in each which fledged. Unfortunately one was seen to be taken by a marsh harrier later that year. PHOTOS
2012 During the winter of 2011/12 one tree housing owl box1 was blown down smashing the box. There was not a suitable tree in the vicinity so a telegraph pole was driven into the ground manually and a new box installed on it. Within one week the box was investigated by a pair of barn owls but unfortunately they did not take up residence. the other box was again occupied by five chicks when checked in June and four of these were ringed, the other being too small. PHOTOS
2013 During February two more owl boxes were put up at Haddiscoe and Langley.
2014 This year we did not get a visit from BTO so we do not know the results.
2015 Our nest boxes and barn owl project went very well again this season. Two chicks were reared in one of our boxes at Rockland. This box has been used by three different females over the last three years. The first nested at Woodton near Bungay in 2012 then at Rockland in 2013 . In 2014 four chicks were raised by a female originally rung as a chick at Billockby near Acle . This years' female had no ring, however thanks to Sid Batty of the BTO both she and her chicks now carry rings, helping us understand and protect these fascinating birds. Our three boxes at Langley were all used. Two female Barn Owls and their seven chicks were rung along with a kestrel and her four chicks. We are also delighted to tell you that Lapwings,a nationally declining species, are once again nesting at Rockland.This is in no small measure due to a great deal of hard work by our members and to the grazing of the marshes carried out under the guidance of English Nature and the Higher Land Stewardship scheme. PHOTOS