We monitor Barn Owl sites scattered throughout Northumberland.
On the whole we've found the Barn Owls to be on time this year. Though one pair has already fledged young. It would appear they laid about 3 weeks earlier than the average laying date (early May).
We've noticed that the egg clutches in our nestboxes were large when checked in early May - 5 or 6 eggs. However on Saturday 4th July 2010 we consistently found only one or two young around 4 to 5 weeks old in the boxes.
The dry summer conditions seem to have had an adverse effect on the grass margins and rank grassland. It is not as high or thick as they should be for this time of year. Probably due to the dry summer conditions we are experiencing. Therefore prey numbers are not as high as normal. This will account for the reduced number of young in our nestboxes.