Monday, 25 November 2013

Tawny Owl update

We have received confirmation from the National Trust at Castleward that approximately two weeks ago the Tawny Owl  was found sitting on a blackboard in the education centre at the property. It is unknown how the Owl got into the property or how long it had been inside but it most likely came in during the day, as security (ie windows and doors) is tight at evenings. However, staff had noticed for several days that items had been knocked off bookshelves
Staff were able to approach the owl apparently without causing it much in the way of distress and it was believed that it was starving. The Owl was then fed food from a pet shop for several days and released. It hasn't been seen since.
While this does not prove categorically that the bird was an escape it does mean that the record is unlikely to be accepted as the first for Northern Ireland, or indeed Ireland, unless evidence to the contary comes to light. We would like to pass on our sympathies to all those who travelled to see this bird after being told by the rarities committee that it was genuine - quite how they were able to discern this less than 24 hours after it had been first reported remains the real mystery

Andrew Crory

Thanks to Stephen Maxwell for this photo of a fluffy piece of gakk.