Depending on aspect, Limestone nest sites can be unmistakable - years & years of splash stands like a white beacon, especially when under an overhang or otherwise sheltered from the elements.
|Obvious white splash|
Roost sites on the other hand can be much harder to locate - rock faces are littered with nooks & crannies - birds could be anywhere.........
NB: (A good tip when prospecting for any cavity dwelling owl (raptor or duck too) is to check for down feather caught in cobwebs.)
That was the case today, with only a few subtle clues on show.
A few small dots of splash didn't look like they were worth following up,
|2 down feathers & tiny bit splash|
but a check binoculars revealed 2 pale down feathers - there you go.
Moving to the overgrown base of the slope, it took a while but I found a handful of large & quite recent BO pellets - almost there.
|Barn Owl pellets - big & black|
A scramble up through bramble & thorn got me 30' higher, where 1 very fresh pellet confirmed the roost as active.
|looking down - NB telescope in top RHcorner.|
From here, the otherwise hidden entrance to cavity held many more pellets & downy feathers.
Yes, a bit of a faff on, but far better than a stand & hope speculative visit as the light fades.
In fact id much rather do a bit detective work like this than hump a pair of ladders around checking nest boxes.
To end on a lighter note - I wasn't expecting to have this charge out at me :-
|you know its a rough area when the sheep hide in caves !|