Wise Old Birds

My monthly journal on my website for October (rather fitting for Halloween I suppose!) is about owls - fly across and read about an exciting evening in our lane!

But first, here is some information about owls:

'Wild Owl' - Tawny Owls

for information about other British Owls go to the Wild Owl web page

 The Owl Service

'Winner of both the Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal, this is an all-time classic, combining mystery, adventure, history and a complex set of human relationships. It all begins with the scratching in the ceiling.
From the moment Alison discovers the dinner service in the attic, with its curious pattern of floral owls, a chain of events is set in progress that is to effect everybody’s lives.
Relentlessly, Alison, her step-brother Roger and Welsh boy Gwyn are drawn into the replay of a tragic Welsh legend – a modern drama played out against a background of ancient jealousies. As the tension mounts, it becomes apparent that only by accepting and facing the situation can it be resolved.'
I remember the story as rather confusing - but intriguing (it is really far more suitable for older teenagers, not a younger 9-11 year old group)

What I found fascinating was the frontispiece drawing of the dinner service (above) I remember suddenly realising that the pattern was an owl - spooked me a bit (must have done as I was about 13 and I still recall that moment of realisation!)

 I think I was a bit scared of the owls in these two books

Beatrix Potter's Squirrel Nutkin and the owl

some more videos on You Tube
Tinka - the Tawny Owl at Exmoor Falconry

see also another diary entry: On Owls

1st October 2013


  1. What an incredible coincidence that your blog is about owls, Helen!
    This weekend we went to visit our old friends and former residents of Windfall Farm, in their new home and they are thrilled to discover they have a resident barn owl in one of their outbuildings! If you stand in a specific spot in their yard during the daytime, you can see his eye as he peers out at you through the slit in the wall! Amazing!

    1. How lovely! (must e-mail S & R!) We have a barn owl nest box in the old dairy, but no resident in it, unfortunately :-(. Maybe one day.

  2. Reminds me of the time that it dawned on me that I was always drawn to orphans, or people similar to orphans.. and that many of my characters in stories through the years have been orphans or have been involved with orphans. It was only a few years ago that I noticed the common thread through all of it..... crazy how things in our lives weave their way into us in such a way that it's only later on in life you look back and see that thread.

    1. Oh yes I so agree! I reckon it is something that lingers in our DNA memory

  3. Anonymous4:09 am

    What a great blog!
    I agree, Cinderella, I have found that so true in my life, too. It is all a tapestry.

  4. I read 'The Owl Service' when I was about 14. I loved it. Mystical, yet grounded in real life with real people - the author made it all seem so real. The three main characters were so well presented - I felt that he captured the differences between the 'Welsh soul' and the English, without being pretentious. And a cracking good yarn! A very bad TV adaption was made at the time. Its time another attempt was made.

  5. Goodness, I'd forgotten that TV series - probably just as well....

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. I'm Welsh/English by birth. Think of myself as Devonian now though!


Thank you for leaving a comment your interest is very much appreciated! It will be published as soon as possible - depending on whether I am at my computer or walking up the lane, or being chased by the goose or helping mend fences after the pony has broken through YET AGAIN.... :-)