Saturday 12 January 2013

A Barn Owl Hunts by Night

I don't normally expect to update this blog while I'm working, so it is rather remarkable (ok, it isn't) that here I am updating it twice today.

I'd just finished another day of brain destroying tedium, had packed what was left of my self esteem in my empty sandwich box, and headed out to the shed to meet up with my sad looking bicycle.

And then I headed off across the cold wasteland of a cycle path, the limey hardtop crusting my wheels and staining my awful trousers. When it's light, you might find me writing about the wagtails or flocks of Pipets I've seen here. But by night, there's usually nothing to see apart from the dimly lit folk listening to ipods that you nearly run over.

But tonight was different. As I cycled over the puddles, about 50 metres ahead of me I noticed a ghostly white shape carving the air barely a couple of meters above the ground. The wing and body shape was a total giveaway, as if one was needed.

It was a Barn Owl, silent on the wing, lit sulphur white by the street lights, hunting. I noticed it would fly about ten metres in one direction, before making a slightly awkward fluttering turn at roughly a right angle before quartering another section of ground. I have no idea what goodies would interest a barn owl on that patch of scrub this time of year, rats maybe, but as it disappeared in and out of the glow of the car headlights on the A17, I hoped it would find something soon, just for making my night.

Even at gloomy work, you can still find something to cheer you up.

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