Barn Owl Success Story

July 2023

A new Barn Owl Nest Box was installed at Morben Isaf Holiday Park, near Machynlleth in early 2023 to replace the old box that had been damaged during the winter. As part of the BH&HPA Bellamy Parks Scheme and their own personal interest, long standing Park Managers Ben and Sarah Lewis have worked hard over the last ten years to enhance the habitat for a variety of wildlife on the Park.

Working closely with Paul and Sandy, volunteers from the Montgomeryshire Barn Owl Group, the project has had another good year. Signs of activity at the box were encouraging and the pattern of behaviour indicated that there was a strong likelihood of another successful brood. In June 2023 the box was checked (under licence) and the indicators proved accurate – 5 healthy chicks were ringed. 2 male, 2 female and one too young to identify. Paul and Sandy weighed, measured and sexed the owlets and returned them to the box, all within a matter of minutes.

The owlets started to fledge during the first week of July and over a period of 12 – 14 days all owlets will leave the box. The adults can been seen hunting, supplying food for the young up to the point that the chicks start to hunt for themselves. The grassland where the box is sited is closed off each evening to avoid unnecessary disturbance. Everyone on Park is extremely understanding and cooperative. For many, the evening entertainment has taken a new approach. It is no longer scanning through the TV channels trying to find something to view but instead, grab the binoculars, pop on a coat and go owl watching!

The Barn Owl success story is just one of many initiatives that make Morben Isaf Holiday Park such a wonderful place; a haven for bird and wildlife. Another recent sighting, confirmed by the Vincent Wildlife Trust, is a Pine Marten, captured on one of the Park wildlife cameras. Being next door to the Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve, Dyfi Wildlife Centre and Osprey Project there is a natural overflow of habitat, however, managing that habitat is a challenge and on a recent visit from the BH&HPA Bellamy Parks Assessor the Park and the Staff were praised for the balance of a tidy, well maintained 5 Star Park whilst providing essential areas for wildlife to thrive.

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