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Seeking Wild Sights

Grassroots wildlife warriors 

by Jeni Bell

It was a regular Monday afternoon, I was on my way home after the morning’s dog walks, enjoying the brief break in the rain when I was greeted by an unexpected sight.

There, pretty much on the door-step, of the one of the thatched cottages that sit on one of the Chalke Valley’s winding country roads, was the unmistakable slumped shape of a barn owl. A delicate bundle of white and fawn feathers, wings hunched, its long legs clumsily outstretched and entirely motionless.

I parked in the adjacent layby, grabbed a dog blanket from the boot of my car and slowly made my way over the casualty. On my approach the dazed owl took off on shimmering wings and floated away on the grey afternoon air.

At first, I was relieved. It was flying, nothing was broken, perhaps it was just a concussion from a passing car?

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