All things wise and wonderful
THE Herald & Post’s wildlife columnist is a familiar name to readers - Eric Paylor, the Evening Gazette’s former football writer. Now, especially for H&P readers, he is writing regularly about another passion - nature. Eric has always been a great nature lover and is particularly interested in birds, so... go wild with Eric.
WILDLIFE workers in the Tees area have made a valuable contribution towards boosting the region’s barn owl population.
Christine Corbett from the River Tees Rediscovered Landscape Partnership reports that barn owl boxes have successfully fledged lots of young birds between Teesmouth and
Piercebridge. Licensed volunteers from the BTO and Teesmouth Bird Club have liaised with landowners throughout the RTR area and installed and monitored five barn owl boxes, all of which have been successful with 20 chicks ringed.
This fine photo of a barn owl, complete with ring, was taken by Dave Pearce. The RTR pro-
ject has also installed other nest boxes, which have been used by tawny owls.
Christine added: “The small bird boxes we installed with volunteers at the Tees Barrage produced three broods of great tits, one brood of blue tits and a family of wrens, all of which fledged.
“Not bad for a first season.”
It’s good to see that wildlife in our area continues to be supported by several fantastic organisations.
The River Tees Rediscovered Landscape Partnership is a Heritage Funded programme of activities delivered and coordinated by a central team based at the barrage, plus a range of partner organisations such as the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust.
The main aim is to celebrate the heritage of the River Tees in our region with events, activities, volunteering and physical improvements.
If you want more information, check out the website at www. riverteesrediscovered. org
I have a good friend who is a licensed ringer working in the north of our area. He has been ringing barn owls in nest boxes that were erected on private farms and reports 16 successfully fledged chicks from four nests.
It is calculated that 80% of British barn owls are now fledged in nest boxes, which indicates the tremendous work which is going on.
Barn owl numbers are still well short of what they were many years ago, but at least we are heading in the right direction. While the barn owls have enjoyed a terrific year, we’ve not seen too many rare birds on Teesside.
So birders’ phones were recently when a night heron descended on RSPB Saltholme.
This medium sized heron is rarely spotted in this country. This particular individual may have wintered in Africa, though I saw quite a few while on holiday in the United States a few years ago.
Eric would like to hear from you. Email him at email@example.com