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Barn owls preparing to leave the nest

Five owlets fledging is a great success story for barn owls. Credit: Dorset Wildlife Trust

Dorset Wildlife Trust’s webcam has recorded a large number of barn owl chicks ready to fledge from the nest box located at the Lorton Meadows nature reserve in Weymouth.

The webcam, which can be watched here, has been entertaining viewers all over the UK since April, when eight eggs were laid; a surprisingly large clutch for barn owls.

Viewers have been monitoring the progress of the chicks since, with five owlets now getting ready to leave the barn owl box.

Five owlets fledging is a great success story for barn owls, as their numbers have been in decline nationally, with 2013 seeing the worst breeding season in 30 years.

Seabirds found dead in pollution mystery

A number of birds have been found dead Credit: Dorset Wildlife Trust

A number of birds have been found dead on Dorset's coast as the rescue operation continues.

The sea birds are covered in a mysterious substance. More than a hundred have been rescued and taken to the RSPCA centre in West Hatch where margarine and washing up liquid are being used to clean them.

RSPCA deputy chief inspector John Pollock says: "The numbers of the birds coming in have been growing and sadly there were quite a few dead birds this morning. We are still down at the beach, though, collecting and trying to save as many of them as we can."

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