Sheltering from the rain…

Passing through some woodland and in between showers this morning, I stopped suddenly at the sight of a large bird clinging to a chestnut tree. It hadn’t noticed me initially, so I moved in for a better look. It spread its wings a few times but seemed quite content perched there in the shade.


Within minutes the heavens opened and a very heavy shower began, causing me to leave the scene to retrieve my weather gear. On returning, the bird had descended the trunk almost to ground level.  As I crouched, I was able to capture a slightly better image, but the rain was taking its toll – both the owl & I were quite bedraggled!

Tawny June 14 Gary Webb

Tawny Owl at Compton Verney

Although clearly an owl, later checks seem to confirm it is a Tawny. My concerns over its inclination to sit there, totally unconcerned by my presence have been alleviated to a point following advice that the bird is displaying a natural characteristic known as ‘branching’. Apparently, there was also a good chance the parent was nearby and watching!

Here’s a short video clip – a little damp, but seemingly content:

It would seem that rescue centres are inundated with calls about this kind of situation, and most often all the owls need is time, where they evidently fly or scramble back up into the higher branches. We shall however be looking in regularly to see if any intervention is needed.