Wednesday, 1 June 2011


tawny owlet, originally uploaded by Dru Marland.

Tanya from down the road came round the other day. "Come and see; we've got a baby owl," she said. So I did.

Someone had seen the young tawny owl being mobbed by crows on Durdham Down, and rescued it. And then knocked on the first door they came to, which happened to be Tanya's. And she is a good person to go to when you've got an owl in need of help. The RSPCA were called, and decided that the Downs here are too busy and dangerous for a young, adventurous owl, so off it went to a rescue centre near Taunton.

It was a very lively owl, as you can perhaps tell from the picture. Young owls do like to wander.

There is a lot about owls that is interesting. Here, for a taster, are

Five Furious Facts About Owls.

  1. The Welsh name for an owl is gwdihw, which is a nice name and a pretty onomatopaeic one too

  2. Blodeuwedd was a woman made of flowers, who was turned into an owl as punishment for, well, unright deeds. Her name means 'flower face', which is a nice description of the owl. Another part of the punishmnt was that birds would always chase her if they saw her. Which they still do, of course.

  3. As I walked in the wooded valley of the Cabalfa Brook, on the Offa's Dyke path, there was a great commotion and squawking, and a tawny owl swooped past, chased by a mob of birds. This was in 1984. Then, passing the same way in 2007, exactly the same thing happened. Coincidence? I think not. (Cue sinister music with a bit of owl hooting in it)

  4. Traditionally, the owl was thought to be stupid, and nobody knows where we have picked up the idea that they are wise. But, whether we think they are wise or stupid, the owls dont care. Which is really quite sensible, of them, in my opinion.

  5. The Greeks reckoned that witches would turn themselves into owls so that they could go around doing witch stuff. You know. Stuff.