Just two weeks after opening, wildlife at Woburn Forest is thriving, according to Lucie Vicentijevic, Woburn Forest Conservation Ranger. “In May we noticed that our tawny owls were nesting. We had been observing the egg and, we’re delighted to say, it hatched and the chick – or ‘tawnie’ – is happy and healthy.”
The tawny owl family have set up a home in the wet woodland area of the Village and the conservation team have been keeping a close eye on the trio since the birth. “We contacted a local bird ringer and asked if he would come to ring the owl, so we can monitor it as it gets older. He was delighted to as he had never dealt with a tawnie before.”
Tawny owls are famous for fiercely defending their young; bird ringers sometimes have to wear crash helmets with visors to protect themselves when ringing baby tawnies. Thankfully, the mission at Woburn Forest was a success.
“The young appeared to be well fed and healthy. It’s really exciting for us as this is the very first bird that has been rung on the Village,” said Lucie.
Signs of summer
Elsewhere in Woburn Forest, Lucie says the recent warm weather has enabled the team to carry out vital wildlife surveys. “We’ve had lots of sunshine in Bedfordshire and this has reflected in the two reptile surveys we’ve done so far. Common lizards were found both times, with the last survey showing a good number. It will soon be time to take down the fencing that has contained the lizards – which were relocated during the build to protect them – but we will maintain the habitat and hopefully the reptiles will continue to use the area.”
As we head further into the season of sunshine, the team have seen a few summer feathered species arriving back from their migration holidays. “House martins and swallows can be seen flying above the Lake, plucking flies and invertebrates out of the air,” says Lucie. “These birds have migrated from South Africa and are a sign that summer is here. Another migrant is the cuckoo, which has been heard around the Pancake House. It has also flew from South Africa but will only be here for around 6 to 7 weeks.” So it’s official, even birds can enjoy a short break at Center Parcs!