When even our old orchards aren’t safe!
I went for a little stroll tonight in Cinnamon lane. There have been a pair of Little owls in the top orchard, by Beer Wall school, since early spring – they have bred there several times in recent years.
To my horror, tonight, there were a couple of marques in the orchard as well as compressors – apparently they’re holding a wedding / reception there, in that very orchard, in the next few days! The likelihood is that the owls would be close to having young by now – so that’s the end of that! It left me speechless – you wouldn’t have thought the owls could have had a safer site would you? It certainly makes one appreciate the reserves where this sort of thing could never happen.
Down by the river, by the concrete landing area, there were a dozen Scarlet Tiger moths flying around for a good hour.
what is the difference Gerry in a small event taking place there for a couple of days and the massive event a few miles away where the preparation and clearing goes on for weeks and makes money for the landowner. in my book this is another reason for closing pilton down.
Guys, can we get a bit of perspective here, please. First, the little owls may have fledged by now. If they have, they'll just go to the next door orchard and escape the noise. Second, a one off event that 'might' disrupt this year's breeding is no different to a cold summer that would kill their chicks anyway. They'll probably be back next year. Very different from habitat destruction which is final.
Wow I think those two are ready to party
It is something that I have always considered, with more outdoor events being held in the wider countryside it will surely not be long before this conflicts with Schedule 1 breeding species. If highlighted that there are breeding birds covered by the schedule at a site & the event was to go ahead would prosecution ensue?
Patrick. Have you ever been to Glastonbury festival?. I have been going for the past fifteen years or so and each year I am amazed by the numbers and variety of birds present. True, they pick their times and places to make themselves obvious, but if you are up and about in the early hours, you will see and hear everything that you would expect. The gulls in particular have a great time. From five or six individuals on the Monday, numbers soar towards the end of the week, and you can see up to 1500 birds (mainly herring with a few LBB) soaring over the site and descending on tents to raid any unguarded food. Most of the hedges and woodland are either fenced off or are used as boundaries for less busy parts of the site. As long as their habitat remains, I don't think that they are that bothered by our presence.
I think we can conclude this thread for now. I visited the orchard tonight, after a week of ‘no shows’ from the owls … but tonight, there was one owl there in the usual tree! Result! We will have to wait & see if anything else transpires?
Further down by the park – for the first time since April, when there was a pair there, a Little Owl was sat on the crossbar of the goal frame – just like old times! So, perhaps there’s more to come here too?
Always intended to visit Cinnamon Lane, but never got around to it (and haven't connected with a Little Owl this year yet).
Where is the best place to park? I've simulated driving the whole length of the lane but can't see anywhere too suitable.
Jamie, if you come into the Redlands estate, which is off of Butleigh Rd, drive right to the end of Bretenoux Rd and carry on left into Chalice way - by the entrance to Cinnamon Lane park. You can park anywhere here.
If you want any more info about the locations etc. you can email me at
Many thanks Gerry.
Well, well… even better news,
There was one lovely little owlet there tonight!
One adult Little Owl sunning itself at 9am this morning in the orchard. Many thanks to Gerry for detail of the site, very much appreciated and lovely to see after not seeing one for 2 years.
An adult Little Owl and owlet seen in the same orchard yesterday evening.
Huge thanks to Gerry for the location!
Not been to this site yet, but was lucky to find a confiding Little Owl in an orchard in Middlezoy yesterday!
Pics on my blog.
Lovely snaps Carl. The Little Owl in Cinnamon Lane that sits in the apple tree in the paddock, opposite the Dutch Barn - just up from the park, is back! An adult was sat there yesterday, for the first time since the early spring! Best viewed from the gateway of he barn.
Single Little Owl in the top orchard, by Beer Wall school tonight. Very confiding and in the first tree by the road.