You may know that we have a couple of barn owls onsite!
We've stayed open until 6.30 pm over the past three Sunday's (well the Draper and Lapwing hides are open the rest of the reserve is closed), with the hope that we will see these stunning birds.
It's very exciting for us as this is the first time barn owls have used (or even been any where near) the barn owl boxes. Two or three years ago we had this pair of barn owls that turned up. The whole area had had lots of rain and flooding, so we thing this pair had to abandon their usual hunting grounds as it was flooded, and they found their way here. Well this pair were seen for brilliantly for about two weeks, so we got excited. We made these two barn owl boxes and put them up at the Draper hide, and then the barn owls dissapeared without going any where near the boxes! Typical! It was used by other creatures - kestrels have been seen roosting in the boxes and pigeons.
A month ago a barn owl was seen at the box by two eagle eyed young visitors! One of the lads even managed to get a quick picture with his camera phone to show us!
Since then we found out that their are two birds using the box and they've been seen quite regularly!
Barn owls don't come out until dusk so on a usual Rye Meads day (we close at 5pm) we don't get to see these stunning birds... we were asked by visitors could we stay open until later in the day to hopefully see these fabulous birds, and we've been doing just that!
Over the past three weekends the Lapwing and Draper hides have been open until 6.30 pm (it's these two hides as they are the ones that you can see the boxes from). Lots of people have seen the barn owls and some lucky visitors even managed to get a few pictures - lets have a look:
Picture by Andy Johnson
Picture by Yusuf Akhtar
Yusuf even managed to get some lovely footage from his visit to Rye Meads. Check it out - there's watervole, kingfisher, fox and the barn owls! Yusuf is a young photographer and film maker, if you want to have a look at more pictures from Yusuf click here
Yusuf took some lovely pictures of the view from the Draper hide through the evening so have a look at these:
Nice pics & video footage