Tuesday, 3 May 2016


An owl flew into my garden this evening, just as I was retrieving one of the bird feeders at dusk. Within seconds a robin appeared on the hedge and began making his territorial call, but very half-heartedly. He looked discomfited, poor little guy, which isn’t surprising when you consider the stature of his adversary. And I know that there’s at least one robin’s nest in the near vicinity.

I spoke respectfully to the owl, explaining that his presence wasn’t really welcome during the birds’ breeding period. He stared at me for a few long seconds in the gathering gloom (while I remembered the story of how a well known British wildlife photographer once had an eye removed by an irate owl) and then flew away. The robin did, too, so I’ve no idea whether I did a service, a disservice, or neither. Probably neither, which is just as well.

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