An Unexpected Owl

by A warbler a day

This afternoon I visited one of my favourite Sunday haunts, Chilbolton, walking from West Down to Cow Common and back. On the down I soon spotted several small yellow-brown moths flying over a patch of Bramble and Rosebay. After 5 minutes of following them, one finally stopped in a place where I could identify as a Speckled Yellow. These are very pretty little moths with butter yellow wings spotted with dark brown. Soon after I found some Brown Argus butterflies and a couple of Small Blues. Surprisingly there was also some Broad-bodied Chaser dragonflies flying at the top of the hill, either females or immature males. It was much quieter on the common, though the Marsh Tits were heard and seen in the usual spot. However the best sighting was saved for drive home. I was just leaving the village when i saw a shape halfway up a telegraph pole. An owl? I hurriedly stopped the car, got out and trained my binoculars on the shape and sure enough it was a Little Owl. Less than 30 seconds later it took off and flew down the road towards the village centre. It may have been brief view but a good sighting nonetheless!

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