Wildlife Diary 2021

‘Barn Owl Heaven!’
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.

The LLP consists of 26 acres nestled on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon, and includes part of the River Ashburn which runs through the woodland valley where the Barn Owl Trust offices are set. Creating rough grassland, re-creating hedge banks, planting an orchard, building a wildlife tower and stone banks, plus two wildlife ponds has hugely increased the biodiversity of this varied landscape.

Find out how we look after our Barn Owl habitat and follow our monthly highs and lows of wildlife sightings, unpredictable weather and practical conservation work.
More about our Wildlife Diary.

Intensively grazed sheep pasture transformed into Barn Owl Heaven!

Grey Heron River Ashburn

January

We started this year cold, with the highest temperature recorded (by the 6th) as 4.1˚C, compared to previous years’ average high of 12.94˚C. The mean for this year so far, is 2.6˚C whereas the mean for previous years is 6.23˚C, so a lot colder than usual at this time of year. At least its not raining and the ground is beginning to dry out after a very wet November and December. The Cattle left on the 31st December and the goats, Annie and Clarabell, were shut in Kiln Close on the 1st to browse that part of the land.

Despite the poor crop this year (winter bird food) we have seen Linnets most days and on the 5th we saw a flock of about 50 flying around the field.

On the 6th, the mobile aviary that had blown over during Storm Bella on the 26th December was pulled upright by the tractor. The clearing up outside the office was completed. This was needed after the tree surgeons came on the 14th December to reduce the crown of the Oak hit by Storm Alex on October 1st. It had been started but delayed due to the Christmas break. Another job awaiting completion is the clearing of the abstraction chamber which feeds the ponds, this has been silted up by the heavy rains in November and December.

Also on the 6th the Heron was seen flying up from the Orchard ponds. Another LLP first happened on the 8th when two Herons were seen flying from the Orchard. The arrival of the frogs must be imminent as the Herons are regularly visiting as evidenced by the droppings around the pond on the 13th.

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