Its worth a visit
A quiet time enabled us to attend to some local chores suas the cleaning out of nesting boxes on our local reserve.
With the generally mild weather and the lack of any significat bird numbers in our area this gives us opportunities to do work in readiness for the forthcoming Spring.
One of our main priorities was tyhe erecting and placement of a Barn Owl box at the centre of the reserve at Kerries foods.
There are increasing records of barn owls in our area and although we have found 2 dead birds on our patch in the last four years we recieved of birds in the area below Pildacre Ossett from this Spring and tought the time was right to try and attract these birds with the sort of box as used by the Barn Owl Trust.
This box is extremely difficult to put in place and it wasnt until we put the box over our heads to ascend the ladder that we were able to get the box up the ladder and on to the chosen tree site(see our photo gallery).
We have also taken the opportunity to inspect the majority of the smaler nesting boxes on Kerries reserve at Ossett and found a surprisingly high rate of occupancy with around 17 of the 21 boxes havin being used the previouse breeding seaon.
We had also had reports of a Little Owl occupying te box near the security gate at Kerries food factory and when we inspected the box we were delighted to find a perfectly formed nest inside.It would appear that one of the birds has been roosing in the box very recently as the security staff had been startled by birds being disturbed from the box in October and November.
There was also a flat nest in one ofour plastic cylinder boxes near to where the Tawny Owl chicks had first appeared and we assumed that tis was the site for our residential Tawny Owls.
Grey Squirrels had only occupied one of our Owl boxes ad this has now been removed ready for new occupancy.
More recently a party of some 78 Pink footed Geese flew over Ossett on Monday the 5th of December this time flying West.There is still a genera lac of Winter visitor small birds with no records yet of Brambling and only one Siskin found on the feeders on Kerries reserve last Monday.
Still there are 6 Song Thrushes on the reserve with 5 Robins and 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers are still coming regulary to the feeders along with 8 Great Tits,7 Blue Tits and small numbers of both Reed Buntings and Chaffinches.
The biggest count of Long Tailed Tits has been 24 birds which were on Dewsbury Sewage Works on Monday 5th of December.
A single Willow Tit is still visiting the feeders on Kerries daily.
Nearby at Ravensthorpe the flash behind the Sip Inn has turned up a Ring Billed Gull (presumably the bird seen in prevous years)