Busy, busy...

Here at the S.O.S. we are always on the look out for ways that we can contribute to Britshh wildlife conservation issues, not only in terms of our native birds of prey, but also in other areas. 
There has been a great deal of emphasis in the news lately about the worrying decline of the humble bumble bee, which is currently under serious threat.  This is mainly due to how agricultural practices have changed over the last 70 years, with the use of pesticides and a decrease in the number of insect pollinated crops.  Bees are so important to our food production that, the theory is, if they became extinct the human race would follow shortly after!  Just one of a whole host of reasons for doing our bit to try to boost their population numbers and aid the recovery of this fascinating and incredible insect.
To this end, our Andy proposed the idea that we should use a small area at the Sanctuary and turn it into a bee and butterfly garden.  It’s a lovely spot, overlooked by a beautiful, ornamental Maple tree and flanked by benches just adjacent to the Barclays Bank Sensory Garden which they so kindly installed for us a year or so back - so that visitors can sit and watch what we hope will be a variety of bees and butterflies, not to mention other insect life, once the garden has fully established itself.


 Andy’s new Bee & Butterfly Garden took just a few days to install, thanks to some hard
work on his behalf and the help of the rest of the staff & volunteers...
now all we need is some SUN!!

With lots of help from volunteers and the S.O.S team, our new bee and butterfly garden was dug, fenced and planted in just a few days.  All we need now is some sun to encourage new residents to come and stay with us at the Sanctuary!
Essex Wildlife Trust Country Fair
It is essential to us at S.O.S. that we are able to promote our key aims – Conservation, Rehabilitation and Education - to as wide an audience as possible and so it is important that we take opportunities such as attending the Essex Wildlife and Country Fair to do just that.

The fair was held at Abberton Reservoir in the village of Layer-de-la-Haye and was attended by well over a thousand visitors. Andy dutifully discarded his hoe & trowel and went along on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th of June, taking with him a female Peregrine Falcon (which has only recently joined us at the Sanctuary) and Auckland our Boobook Owl who, as you may remember from previous blogs, is an old pro at this kind of thing.  It was the Peregrine’s first out-show, but she behaved impeccably and even had her picture taken with Colchester United football mascot, ‘Eddie the Eagle’!

It took us AGES to work out if Andy’s shorts were getting longer...
or his legs were getting shorter....

Andy was particularly interested to be able to observe a bird ringing exhibition and had the opportunity for the first time to see a Nightingale being ringed.  He was also chuffed to see a wild Hobby flying across the show ground – not something you see every day.
This is the fourth year the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary has been asked to attend the Essex Wildlife Trust Country Fair, the first time being after we were permitted to release a Short-Eared Owl at the Reservoir.  The owl had come to the Sanctuary’s hospital totally exhausted after it had landed on an oil-rig platform, after migrating to England from Europe.  This is the kind of rehabilitation story that epitomises what we aim to achieve here at S.O.S and so it’s great to be able to continue our association with the Abberton Reservoir.