Hi, I'm Rudi, i'm 8 years old and my favourite book is 'Tarka the Otter' by Henry Williamson. Its about the life of an otter named Tarka and British Wildlife. One night i was reading the book with my dad and i said that i wanted to see all the animals in the book, he said i should do it and call it the Tarka Challenge. My Tarka Challenge started on 1st January 2012. The book contains 89 birds, 54 land based animals, 120 plants and 56 aquatic organisms.

The rules are simple, i must either see each thing myself or photograph it using my trail camera. I will try and see each thing on my local patch (Ogmore River Catchment) but may need to look somewhere else in Britain.

Ba Ba Ba Barn Owl

We went to visit Meurig today, I call him Mr Lucky. He lives on a small farm in the welsh mountains and is surrounded by nature. He even has swallows nesting inside his actual house.

We walked around the farm and he showed me loads of bird nests, so many i lost count. There were swallows everywhere nesting in the barns. He has a big lake with fish and newts in it and we found a Heron feather.

We bottle fed some orphaned lambs

He showed me a Pied Wagtails nest in his shed

 Pied Wagtail nest with 5 eggs

Pied Wagtail

When we walked past the big barn a Barn Owl glided out past us into the woods.

We set up my trail camera and got some video of the Barn Owl perching during the night.

Roosting Barn Owl

Barn Owls, i couldn't believe it. In just 4 months we have seen Short Eared Owls, Tawny Owl, Little Owl and now a Barn Owl. I really enjoyed my trip to the farm and came away with a bag full of Owl pellets and some feathers.

On Sunday we went for a walk down the river and saw a Dipper displaying to its mate. We were surprised to see the Dippers so close to the sea, usually they live in upland rivers.

Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
The Barn Owl can seem like a ghost, white and silently gliding around at night. The Barn Owl feeds mainly on small mammals such as mice and voles and shrews, they also eat small rats and sometimes birds and even bats. Owls cant digest the preys fur and bones so they 'sick' them up as pellets. You can find pellets under places where the birds perch. If you break up the pellets you can tell from the bones and skulls what the birds have been eating.

I love Owls

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