One of the largest trees in Duhallow, one which has hosted a Barn Owl nest for the past two summers, is no more (for an account of this site, see HERE).
The tree, a massive Montery Cypress, in all its' glory, in summer 2012. The Barn Owl nest entrance is circled (all photos: M.O'Clery).
While checking on nesting progress at Kestrel and Barn Owl sites today, the giant Monterey Cyprus was found to be collapsed on the forest floor, and looked to have taken several other nearby trees with it. No doubt a victim of the February storm which hit the south-west of Ireland, the area nearby which had hosted a Long-eared Owl nest in 2012 was also flattened by the hurricane force winds.
The giant tree and nest site are shattered wreckage on the forest floor.
Another site destroyed by the winter storms, a cottage near Newmarket, roof ripped off, and now abandoned by Barn Owls.
Not all bad news however. One traditional and one new nest sites had chicks in them, including this 10 day old Barn Owl chick. This was the youngest of two chicks at this nest box site.