Barn owls are not the only species that use the nest boxes, we regularly find stock doves, grey squirrels and jackdaws using the boxes to nest or roost in. From time to time we find more unusual species such as mandarin duck, tawny owls and kestrels using the nest boxes.
At the end of July John, Ivan and myself went to inspect nest boxes installed on farmland and nature reserves in East Staffordshire. On the first farm that we visited we had five barn owl nest boxes to check, we found three boxes with nesting stock doves and two boxes which had been used by jackdaws. A more unusual find in one of the boxes was the old comb from a wasp's nest.
We then returned to an estate where we had found barn owl chicks the previous year, we were in luck there were two healthy chicks in the nest box, which were ringed a few days later.
We never know what we will find until the nest boxes are monitored and we get a brief glimpse of the wildlife stories behind the inspection hatches of the barn owl nest boxes. A day of highs and lows!