Raithwaite estate for the last time. During the day pheasants would often leap out of the lane side greenery, forcing us to drive very slow for fear of hitting one. It was quite dark by this hour. As we drove along the final bit of lane to Home Farm, Phil pointed out something crossing the road in front of us. It was a large badger going about its business. It shuffled across in front of us and trundled up a dark alley, its silvered fur disappearing into the blackness like a ghost. Just as we reached Home Farm and opened the car doors a male Tawny Owl hooted. Almost immediately another male Tawny hooted an answer to the challenge from a different angle. Debbie started hooting along with them.
"You're making them think there are loads of male intruders," I ventured.
"How do you do the female call then?" Debbie asked.
"You can't. It's too high pitched. Sort of ewick-ewick." I made no attempt to sound like an owl.
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