Swineham Barn Owl Project - posted 23/12/13

Over the last year many people have attended our wide range of ‘Birds of Poole harbour’ field trips and have been kind enough to donate money for each of the walks they’ve attended. I’m really pleased to announce that within this time frame we’ve been able to save enough money from your donations to launch our first ‘Birds of Poole Harbour’ conservation project.

Barn Owls are a rare and declining breeding bird in Poole Harbour with numbers dropping right across the county over the last decade. Within the harbour Barn Owl currently breed at Arne RSPB reserve and Middlebere, so our aim is to try and raise that total to at least another couple of pairs elsewhere in the harbour. In order to do this we had to find an area that we know Barn Owl have used in the past, that has suitable habitat and that has a willing landowner. Our search took us right around the harbour but the most suitable and obvious place seemed to be the Swineham/Bestwall area where Barn Owl sightings were very regular last winter. We recently approached the stunning Lakeviews B&B at Swineham to see if they would like to potentially be landlords to a pair of Barn Owl and let us place a Barn Owl box up in one of their barns. The staff and owner of the B&B thankfully jumped at the chance and actually allowed us to place not one but two Barn Owl boxes up on their land as well as a Kestrel Box. This is such great news and we can’t thanks Lakeview B&B enough. We sprung into action straight away and called Jason Fathers of Wildlife Windows (also responsible for setting up our Brownsea Webcam). Over the last three weeks Jason has been busy placing the boxes in their various locations in the hope that any passing Barn Owls this winter will start using at least one of the boxes ready for the breeding season next year.

This is hugely exciting for us and we’re proud we have a project we can monitor and gage our success very easily in order to relay information to the public. We wouldn’t have been able to get this project going if it wasn’t for all your support so THANK YOU!

We will keep you posted with any updates on the owl boxes as soon as we have them.



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