Things that go bump in the night.

Hethersett appears to be doing quite well for hedgehogs and I have bumped into quite a few recently. Connies Hedgehog site is developing nicely and well worth a look at the following link (click here)  as are her regular articles in the Hethersett Herald. One key message from the site is to keep Hethersett hedgehog friendly they need highways to get from one garden to another so if you have a solid fence just cut a CD case size hole so they can travel into your garden and eat up your slugs.

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Hedgehog taken recently in the village on a nocturnal wander

This month’s focus is on some other night time visitors which rarely do any bumping the village owls. in recent weeks young tawny owls have been practicing their twits and twoos particularly around the paddocks. Recent counts suggest we have about 5 pairs of regular nesting tawny owls which are the most nocturnal and much more likely to be seen than heard particularly as they start to breed in the Autumn.

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Tawny Owl the local brown owl in a typical sleepy pose. 

The villages next owl is its rarest with only one breeding pair but it is occasionally seen at dawn or dusk rather than after dark. The ghost white barn owl can occasionally be seen in the paddocks with one of the local family out hunting. The owl’s appearance and its hissing and rarely heard call make it easy to tell from its village cousins.

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Barn owl perfectly designed for silent night hunting.

Recently the owner of the land where the owls nest kindly donated some pellets, which are the indigestible remains of meals including fur and  bones coughed up by the owls, and myself and some of the pupils at  Hethersett Junior had a go at dissecting them to see what our owls had been hunting.

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Tiny skulls and jaws of Meadow voles our village barn owls food of choice.

The last of the resident village owls and its least , well in terms of stature is the little owl easy to tell by size and the fact that it is often active in the day. One of the best places to see them in recent years is near the village hall and at Beckhithe Meadow. With the development of Heather Gardens Beckhithe may become the ast northern stronghold. Beckhithe is also the only place all three owls have been recorded with both Tawny and Little owls breeding there in recent years. If you haven’t already visited the Beckhithe page then click the link on the site or (click here).

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Little owl laying down the law

If you are interested in any of the birds of Hethersett then a complete list is available if you (click here).

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