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