Turning off the light

Following the Owl blank last night I decided to head to the Ridgeway for this evening’s dog walk. The track up to Russley Down was the chosen area. With the early phase waxing crescent moon it was pretty dark so the head torch was definitely needed. Again a few Redwing were heard overhead against the distant, faint but constant hum of the motorway. Then movement ahead, real or imagined? I wasn’t sure. Yes again, definitely something on the fence. Then the light from the torch reflecting on a pair of eyes. A look with the binoculars confirmed a Barn Owl. The Owl then flew a few posts further away, just keeping to the edge of the throw of light.  I turned off the head torch and quietly moved forwards.  Think on Malc, do you really believe that you could sneak up on a Barn Owl in the dark!! Turning the torch on again,  I had actually managed to get a bit closer before the Owl flew again. This continued for a couple of hundred yards when the Owl, probably fed up with being followed,  flew off across the field.  Certainly a different experience from watching Owls from the car. I carried on up and then saw four more lights shining. Moving closer I could make out two Roe Deer. Time to head back and a Barn Owl was heard calling and then another brief glimpse as one flew across the track in front of me. Then I was back at the car and ready to head off home. On the drive back I saw two rabbits and a fox.

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