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Saturday, 7 March 2009

Owly tales from Brittany....

Well, it's certainly been an eventful week this week and I've been planning various posts for my blog in my head whilst I've been out doing the first round of grass cutting and strimming and weeding... I could go on! But without the physical time to sit and write and with a spare half hour I thought that I'd make a start!

Last Tuesday my hubby was away in the UK and was round at some friends for supper - they live about 25mins from us. The weather got worse and worse during the evening with torrential rain and strong winds which is as it was when I was driving home (praying that I wouldn't break down)! About 2/3 of the way home I noticed this lump on the opposite carriageway and having driven past it thought it looked like an owl... so I did my best to reverse back in the pitch black and horrible weather not making it easy, until I drew level with this item, only to notice a Tawny Owl on it's feet but all hunched forwards as if it had been stunned by a passing vehicle - being on my own and with no gloves in the car I felt terrible that I couldn't do anything to help the little fella so had to drive on feeling really guilty and wondering what would happen to him, hoping that somehow he managed to get himself to the side.
Anyway - obviously living in the countryside with plenty of owls around and never wanting to be in that awful position again of not being able to help a poor creature in distress decided to contact The Barn Owl Trust that someone had mentioned to me only a few weeks back to ask for their advice - I got an email by return with some very helpful information. If you look on the information and downloads section there's loads of suggestions of what to do if you find owls - injured or otherwise. For those wanting to encourage owls, there's a section on how to build nest boxes! - you should take a look as it's a great site and I just wish I'd known all this before I found the poor tawny owl - I did drive past the following day and there was no sign of him so I'm hoping that he did just fly off.

Anyway to continue the story - on Friday having looked at the forecast for this next week decided that I'd better crack on with the grass cutting if I was going to get all my clients' gardens done before going away so set off in the morning and arrived at the final destination about 6pm! So after I'd finished loaded the tractor onto the trailer, locked the car and took Lucy (Labrador) for her evening stroll... and very pleasant it was too! It wasn't until I'd got home which was about 5 mins from there and about 20mins from nightfall that I discovered the keys to the tractor weren't in my pocket - my heart sunk - so drove all the way back and did another circuit of the walk to check I'd not dropped them. About 5 mins from the car I suddenly noticed the large white flapping wings of a Barn Owl - scouring the meadowland - quite beautiful and then he flew on meters away from me, gave out a little squawk and went on his way - I took this as a sign that I'd find my keys... well you know what I got back to the car.... drove on home and discovered them in the back of the car under my gloves... it was worth the detour to find them!
Photo thanks to Steve Brace

8 comments:

A wildlife gardener said...

That was wonderful finding both a Tawny and a Barn owl in the same week, Miranda...lucky you :)

Cheryl said...

Hi Miranda.....one of your best posts, as far as I am concerned.......I love owls....they are such beautiful creatures......
I to hope that the first owl was okay.....it would appear so as you found no evidence of him.

An interesting post.....
I do hope that you have a lovely time in Cornwall and that the weather is kind to you.......

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Wildlife Gardener - it was great seeing these both in one week -just wish the poor Tawny Owl was in a less sorry state, but the fact that he was no where in site when I drove back the next day was good news! I do love owls!

Thanks Cheryl and so glad you enjoyed the post - it was just great seeing them. Two days ago a wood pigeon landed in the Hazel I was pruning and then kind of crash landed onto it's side which was slightly unusual - I was concerned about it's wing and that my cat didn't end up with some extra breakfast, it seemed quite happy for me to pick him up - both wings were fine and reckoned it might have had a poorly foot. But thought I'd see how his flying was and took him to the edge of our woodland and threw him up in the air and off he flew to his resting place the other side of the field so obviously hoping that he also survived... seems to have been a week of this kind of thing here. Quite exciting!

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

synchronicity at work!
K

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

I hope the Owl flew off too.

You never think of animals such as owls ever being in distress. They are just so well equiped.

Rob

marmee said...

i will have to check out these links. hopefully your owl friend did make it. that photo is great and the owl is so beautiful.

Amanda said...

Great article and lovely picture!!

Miranda Bell said...

Sorry I've not been around to reply to your postings we've been away for the last 2 weeks in Cornwall - 2 solid weeks of sunshine which was amazing for March!

Hi Karen - it certainly was syncronicity at work - will have to start hoping to get owls nesting here in the woodland!

Hi Rob - thanks for visiting my blog - you're right - owls are amazing birds - it's always sad when you see them at the side of the road - even better when you see them flying around and hunting at dusk!

Hi Marmee - thank you for your kind comments and really glad you liked the posting - let's hope for some more owly escapades to come!

Hi Amanda - glad you liked the article too and welcome to my blog!

Have a good weekend and watch this space for postings on my trip to Cornwall as well as a book review on the latest in gardening! Miranda