It's Showtime

The Mid-Suffolk Show

The “A” Team - Apprehensive Andrew & Aukland
in front of our booth at the Mid Suffolk Show

This weekend saw the advent of the Mid-Suffolk show in the Stonham Barns Complex, where there were all kinds of stalls and lots of fun for the whole family; everything from quadbike rides, bucking bronco and heavy horses to craft stands and various animal welfare stalls, including of course the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary.

The event started at 10.00am and right from the off, there were long queues of people waiting to enter the showground. It was an extremely popular day, with one of the highlights being a flying display by three of our spectacular raptors, Pungu the Bateleur Eagle, Josh the Harris Hawk and Lock the Lanner Falcon. All conducted themselves beautifully in slightly unfamiliar surroundings and Lock produced a magnificent stoop much to the delight of the onlookers.

Although we’ve been based in Suffolk for some 16 years now, it’s always surprising how many of the locals either didn’t know we existed or hadn’t ever visited us, so the event provided the ideal opportunity to talk to a huge number of people about our purpose and hand out a great deal of literature, including our
“Saving Britain’s Owls” booklet. Judging by the positive response this sort of information always seems to be greeted with by the general public (many of them city-dwellers), it’s gratifying to know that such a great deal of interest is being shown today in matters conservational!

Is it a bird? I it a plane? No, it’s Andrew again - all togged up
to gladhand young visitors to the show. No wonder he looked apprehensive!

All in all, it was a tiring but highly satisfying day. Auckland our Boobook Owl spent the day with us on the stall and drew a great many admirers, as did Andrew, our big fluffy mascott owl who dispensed friendly waves and handshakes to lots of smiling children.

On the Home Front

We also had some excitement here at the Sanctuary as the breeding season showed further evidence of the breeding season getting fully into its stride.

General Manager Andy showed me a wonderful piece of equipment called a Cellascope that indicates definitely whether or not there is any sign of life in a bird’s egg. A fiendishly simple but effective design whereby a light shines through the egg showing up the veins that confirm a small life growing inside. Having tested the Lanner Falcons eggs today, Andy was able to confirm that two were positive and two were not.

Our Saker Falcons have also been busy and are currently incubating three eggs. Sadly, although our Wood Owls produced too eggs, one had no chick in it and the other died during incubation. The positive side of this is that it’s early in the season, so there’s a good chance they will have another go.

A Little Gem

Trevor Richardson’s Little Owl Painting

Recently we received an email from an artist by the name of Trevor Richardson, who paints beautiful wildlife images and was keen to have some pictures of Kestrels for his latest project. Last year he asked us for some information regarding Little Owls and sent us the link to show us his stunning representation. You can view this and some of Trevor’s other work at - we’re very much looking forward to seeing the next one!