RSPB Mersehead blog 28th May – 3rd June 2022

 With a heart-shaped face, buff wings and a pure ghostly white belly, the Barn Owl is a distinctive and much-loved countryside bird. Our resident Mersehead barn owl is currently hunting extensively throughout the early evening into the dusk as it is raising chicks. A favoured hunting spot is the upper saltmarsh where it has been seen quartering the ground daily this week.

 

Mersehead barn owl. Photo credit: G. Chambers  

The barn owl is widely distributed across the UK and indeed the World with 10 subspecies found across Europe, Africa, Arabia, India and Asia southeast to Java. The subspecies we have here in the UK (Tyto alba alba) is restricted to western and southern Europe and north Africa (from Scotland to Morocco and from Portugal to Greece).

 

Mersehead barn owl. Photo credit: G. Chambers

Having just arrived back at Mersehead this week, House Martins are busy repairing nests which have survived the winter storms. The house martins nest is usually sited below the eaves of buildings and in the case of the nest below, against the bathroom window!