Down at Lavell's Lake one of the young had been spotted in the doorway to the box a number of times over the past few weeks, but less so recently.
I've made a number of trips to try to see the Adult hunting, but I had no luck so made the assumption that they hunted after dark (once I had left!).
This week I was taking a walk through the car park field behind the owl box, and with rather sad news I came across the obvious remains of my adult Barn Owl.
I can only assume was feeding on the ground and preyed upon by a fox, purely on the basis that not much will take on a Barn Owl.
Of course, this now also brings in the very real possibility (and in fact is highly likely), that the young owlets (thought to be 2 of them) will also not have survived. They were not believed to have fledged (I certainly had not seen them), and therefore would be unable to feed themselves.
I reported this to the appropriate personnel who manage the site, but fundamentally there is nothing they can (or will) do.
It does also appear that the Owlets in my other site are also 'missing', however at least one of those adults is still flying around. I have absolutely no idea where they have gone as I have been to that site every day, or every other day at the absolute latest, but even so, it appears I have missed them!
After the distress of finding the remains of the Barn Owl, I headed over to the fence looking at the barn where I saw the Little Owl in the guttering.
He wasn't there on this occasion, but I met a chap in the woods (oo-er!!!!) who works at the farm/chocolate factory. I was talking to him about the Little Owls and asked if he could speak to the owner to see if I could have access to get some closer photo's.
True to his word, he did indeed speak to the boss who said that'd be fine! I'm keen not to abuse the access to his farm so I've agreed to stick to their operational hours, and when they ramp up their chocolate production (sadly quite soon!) then I'll back off.
In the meanwhile the chance should hopefully allow me to get some closer shots of the Little Owls.
I did manage to grab this shot of him (it's a juvenile), but as I started to change to the 'big' lens, he flew off, and I couldn't find him again.
The farm is actually a haven for all sorts of wildlife, and quite frankly is exactly the sort of place I'd aspire to own! (sure that won't happen though!).
Aside from a plethora of wild birds, I spotted this fox crossing over the landfill... not welcome as foxes have destroyed all of the owners chickens (and of course quite possibly the Barn Owl).
Whilst there, it appears that the House Martins are collecting again, the owner was telling me last year they had over 200 gathering around the Barns waiting for the migration. He said they all left in one go and was a very special sight. It's unlikely I'll get to see that, but still nice to see them gathering together.