This week I discovered a barn owl has laid four eggs for the first time in a nesting box that I put up 18 years ago! It doesn't normally take this long for them to use the boxes I put up for them.
This is one of the first of many nest boxes I have erected over the years. It went up in farm buildings close to a spot where I had watched barn owls as a teenager. The elm tree that they nested in at the time fell down and I wanted to provide them with somewhere new - but they didn't appreciate my efforts. At least until now.
It just goes to show how unpredictable wildlife is. Some nest boxes are occupied within a year, but this really is the longest I've ever had to wait.
I've been involved in a charity, The Wolds Barn Owl Group, which erects barn owl nesting boxes on farmland across North Yorkshire for some years now. Two years ago my efforts were featured on Look North. To find out more take a look at this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/humber/content/articles/2007/06/01/barn_owl_feature.shtml