Friday, October 24, 2008

Getting them up

Yesterday (Thursday, 23 October) was cold, overcast and VERY windy. Despite that we managed to get up two A-frame Barn Owl boxes, one high on a telegraph pole, and one comfortably on an Oak. Today, blue skies by mid-morning and the gentlest of breezes, we erected three A-frame Barn Owl boxes, one on a barn, one on an Oak and one on an Ash. Also, as a favour to the landowner, we erected a suite of three bat boxes on an Elm. So, if you include the batboxes, that's eight magnificent erections in two days.
So you can perhaps understand why I am feeling just a tad fatigued. I suspect my colleague Peter is feeling the same, and he had a 90 minute drive home after dropping me off. Still, he's only a stripling and will soon bounce back.
As I have said before, there are several perks to the work we do with Barn Owls. First, we get to meet some very nice and very interesting people. Farmers generally get a bad press, but the ones we deal with are totally dedicated to their wildlife with the possible exception of Sparrowhawks (American readers, think Cooper's or Sharp-shinned). Secondly, we get to visit some wonderful habitat off the beaten track, and often get sightings of wildlife that we would not otherwise see. Thirdly, we get to have lunch "al fresco", dining sumptuously on sandwiches or baguettes bought at One-Stops, garages or similar. Today, I had egg and cress.
And of course we quite often see Barn Owls, still the most heart-stopping sight you could wish for on a day out in the countryside.
Life is not all good news, but after two days like these, I feel that "God's in his heaven, and all's right with the world."

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