Wonderful news, 2016 again saw some Turtle Doves back and purring! We are hoping they will return in 2017 and have an acre of Turtle Dove seed mix. Did you know that we are one of the few places in the British Isles where you can still see and hear Turtle Doves.
Buzzards are still here, on warmer sunny days they can be seen or heard with their distinctive mewing call. Come and watch their graceful flight, at low level they look huge! A good place to watch birds is on The Isle of Sheppey at the Elmley National Nature Reserve, just a short drive from Palace Farm, or maybe at The Oare Marshes Reserve on the mainland near Faversham.The Swale Estuary is one of the best areas for seeing overwintering Raptors in the UK.
Tawny Owls are still very vocal. Around dusk they usually wake up and start calling to their family, these are really wonderful calls, not just the Toowhit Toohoo, but a wide range of quieter more plaintive and slightly squeaky calls some sounding to me like those party whistles that uncoil as you blow into them. Occasionally they seem to be fighting making some strange almost growling sounds, you really need to know what you are listening to to believe it.
Our little Owls are still around, we didn’t see much of them last summer, but we have realised that the tree they nested in has fallen over, In September 2015 I took delivery of two Little Owl nest boxes and within days of putting them in their place they were visited by an owl. Another first, in 2015 we had a pair of Swallows nest in the Hostel Courtyard and they returned this last year, we really are hoping they will return you may notice our new logo features Swallows. Remember the old saying “One Swallow doesn’t make a summer”?