Well the snow that had been forecast arrived during last night, just as predicted, and I woke to a world dressed in white. It wasn’t lying thick, but it was still falling heavily. The snow was one thing to deal with, but the strong wind from the north-east was viscious and made the snow swirl around and drift. The wind chill factor was pretty serious. So I started my day with my usual rounds checking on the owls, but a little more anxious than usual.
I was relieved to find that the Wee Owl Kingdom was quite sheltered from wind from this direction, and all the tiny owls were fine. The Western and Tropical Screech Owls have been spending a lot of time in their nest boxes lately, so they were very sheltered and I just saw beady eyes peeping out of the hole.
Moving round to the Boreal owls I found one of the Tengmalm’s Owls wet and bedraggled on the floor at the back of the aviary. I made a note to come back to this one at the end of my rounds. Around the rest of the centre I found that 98% of the owls were either sitting in shelter or in nest boxes. Two or three of the eagle owls were a bit wet but did look alright. I found one more owl wet and looking sorry for itself; one of the pair of Tawny Owls. The other Tawny had gone into the nest box but this one was caught out in the open. I retrieved a couple of carrying boxes and picked up the Tawny and Tengmalm’s and took them through to the ‘Rec’ or ‘Recovery’ Room where they could dry out.
To my surprise one of our volunteers arrived to work. Considering the weather I really didn’t expect him to come through but there he was, and wearing shorts too! Obviously made of sterner stuff coming through from Glasgow!
Between us we made sure all the rest of the birds were okay and then found a ‘nice’ indoor job to keep ourselves out of the weather. Our display area has rows of benches for the audience which need painting with wood stain, so Stuart and I made a start on this task.
There weren’t have any visitors today, as you’d expect, and so there were no flying displays. We flew a couple of owls in training anyway, and today Prince and Tiger showed improvement on yesterday. One of the great benefits of having an indoor display arena is that we can not only continue with the public flying demonstrations no matter what the weather is outside, but we can also keep up with the training sessions too.
Once this was done we fed all of the owls and called it quits for the day. I decided to keep the wet Tawny and Tengmalm’s Owls in their carry boxes in the Rec Room overnight, with food, just in case the weather overnight continued to be wet and wild. The almost blizzard conditions continued through most of the day, but by evening there were more calm spells with clear skies. That probably means the temperature will drop below freezing, and potentially more problems for the owls. I will be out early to check on them as always.
‘Til tomorrow then, goodnight.