Managing our wildlife haven – known as the Lennon Legacy Project or LLP – for Barn Owls, has created diverse habitat for a wonderful array of native plants and flowers, insects, butterflies, birds and mammals.
Find out how we look after our Barn Owl habitat and share the monthly highs and lows of wildlife sightings, unpredictable weather and practical conservation work.
More about our Wildlife Diary.
If you would like to visit the LLP, please book on an event or wildlife walk.
‘Transforming intensively grazed sheep pasture into Barn Owl Heaven’.
By the end of the first week there were subtle signs that the number of birds in the crop was beginning to decrease, with only about 400, mostly Linnets, recorded on the 7th. By the 21st there appeared to have been a clear-out as only about 60 birds were apparent, although that count may have been prejudiced by a male Sparrowhawk that spent much of the time making fly-pasts and sitting in a nearby Ash.
On the 19th a small group from Plymouth University students helped burn up the brash from the North Park hedge-laying.
A pair of Mallard was on the pond on the 21st as a Skylark flew overheard calling, both constituting first records for the LLP this year.
The second Winter Bird Walk on the 9th was blessed with perfect weather for a change! In warm, dry, still, sunny conditions 16 interested visitors walked around the LLP, stopping at the bird crop to marvel at the sheer spectacle of the large finch flocks flying around. An estimated 500 Linnets, 50 Chaffinches, at least 10 Greenfinches, 5+ Goldfinches, 3 Reed Buntings, 20 Blackbirds, and several Dunnocks and Wrens were backwards and forwards in and out of the North Park hedge adjacent to the crop the whole time the group were there. In addition 2-3 Green Woodpeckers were heard yaffling up and down the valley, with Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch in adjacent woodland. There were also 5 Redwing and 6 Starling overhead, and 2 Red Admiral were on the wing in the Spring-like conditions.
Peak counts of 70-80 Chaffinches and over 30 Greenfinches were recorded in the bird crop on the 17th, along with 300+ Linnet, 3+ Reed Buntings (2 females, 1 male) and singles of Goldfinch, Robin and Blackbird, whilst a male Sparrowhawk kept the flocks busy.
After several postponed attempts due to the wet weather the first hedge-laying took place on the 22nd, when about 7 yards of the North Park hedge was laid.
As the month drew to a close there were at least 500 birds still frequenting the bird crop.