Our Wildlife – July 2023


And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” (Genesis 1: 20)

With the long nights of Summer upon us, it’s a wonderful time to see and hear Owls; church belfries, churchyard hedgerows and secluded trees are ideal places for them to perch and roost.

Perhaps a visit to the churchyard at night doesn’t sound very appealing, but if you take a potter along your garden path after sundown, you will probably hear the distinctive “toowhit, twowoo” call of the Tawny Owl.  On the other hand, drive down a quiet country lane on a moonlit night and you might be treated to the screeching, ghostly flypast of the Barn Owl!  All are captivating and a vital ingredient in our wonderful countryside

Once a common feature of Shropshire rural life, Barn Owl numbers have been severely decimated over recent years.  Thankfully, volunteers in the Shropshire Barn Owl Group (SBOG) are working hard to reverse this decline. 


The Owl

When cats run home and light is come,
And dew is cold upon the ground,
And the far-off stream is dumb,
And the whirring sail goes round,
And the whirring sail goes round;
Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits.

When merry milkmaids click the latch,
And rarely smells the new-mown hay,
And the cock hath sung beneath the thatch
Twice or thrice his roundelay,
Twice or thrice his roundelay;
Alone and warming his five wits,
The white owl in the belfry sits. 

Alfred Tennyson, 1842

The feature image for this post is “Front view of a barn owl –Tyto alba – in flight”. Wikicommons (P.D.)

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