04 August 2009

Tawny Owls and Critters

Another feature of the Back of Beyond is the hunting calls of the tawny owls, absent for a while they have returned and at least three birds were calling to each other last night for about an hour..

It is hard to describe how the hunting sounds (its not the hooting call used for a different purpose) but I used to be able to emulate it and get them to answer back, by whistling through my front teeth... ye gods carruthers that sounds really bad but really it isn't any worse than sheepdog whistles honest.

I lay there last night, after a busy evenings work (OK I lied about the work, other than putting oil on the window sills (hardwood), and a door panel I watched a film well I didn't have much of a rest all weekend and I was bushed) anyway, the owls were calling to each other and then all went quiet so I guess they either managed to get a dinner or moved on to a different area.

The other call I haven't heard recently is the muntjac deer or barking deer as they are known locally; this is because they sound like a dog with a hoarse throat and they were known to frequent the local woods and old kitchen gardens (since trimmed back or rather hacked down) so with the loss of cover the deer have moved on to other haunts but it is a shame as they are kind of interesting though as dense as a plank of wood when it comes to cars, bikes etc.

Once when travelling back late one night on the bike, I came down the road from the village to find a muntjac crossing the road, he was confused by only one headlight and didn't know where to go so he stood still. Me on the bike didn't know whether to try and second guess him, or stay where I was and in the end we just sat and faced each other for about 5 minutes before he lost his nerve and bolted across to the fields.

1 comment:

Rach said...

What a lovely story..xx