Country diary: a walk to the estuary is a real hoot

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Talsarnau, Gwynedd: The brindled presence of a sleeping tawny owl brings back childhood memories

When walking down the track to the estuary for my hour’s exercise, I picked up a feather from the green verge. It was delicately fringed, mottled brown, velvety – a tawny owl’s primary. I swished it through the air to admire its soundlessness, stuck it in my hatband, strolled on by the seawall to the millpool at Ynys where clamorous redshank roost. None were present. The only noisemakers around were a rackety mob of small birds – great tits, house sparrows – that darted in and out of sparse foliage on a great oak by the muddy path to Llanfihangel y Traethau. Focusing my glass, there, sure enough, the brindled presence of a sleeping tawny owl.

Related: Country diary: I enjoy the company of a female tawny owl as I garden

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