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3 July 2012

Time and effort

Many Barn Owl sites are fairly accessible, once you know where they are. Others are more difficult, occasionally involving multiple ladders and ropes to climb to the nest. Some nests have been monitored for many years, including this one in Co. Kerry, but the time and effort involved to reach them can be considerable. Have a look at this extraordinary place...

Screengrab of the derelict house (John Lusby).

It's hard to believe places like this exist, but when you are in the business of Barn Owl surveying, it becomes apparent just how many derelict buildings there are dotted around the Duhallow countryside.

Long-abandoned by people, now occupied by bats and Barn Owls (Photo: M.O'Clery).

Journey through the building as John Lusby investigates the Barn Owl nest (under licence from NPWS and kind permission from the owner). (Video: John Lusby).

To reach the Barn Owl nest at this site involves climbing up through the derelict house, past gaping holes in the floors, past crumbling masonry and long-forgotten items of furniture, past a room where bats hang from the ceiling, out an upper window, and onto a roof. From there, a ladder is lifted into place to climb the last bit of slate roof to reach the nest – a hole in the chimney, about 20 metres (50 ft) high.