There have been precious few birds on this blog recently, mostly because they don't hang around here in the summer (apart from the woodland birds that skulk around after breeding) so a chance meeting with some residents of the Folkestone Owl Rescue Sanctuary gives an opportunity to redress the balance.
This Barn Owl was born in captivity, and that might explain its tameness, allowing children (and adults) to stroke it.
Two Eagle Owls did not seem so calm, however, looking wild-eyed in the bright sunshine surrounded by traffic and pedestrians.
A Snowy Owl kept its cool, looking very stylish in its snow-white garb.
I have recently become the proud owner of one of the new I-Spy Birds books, which I bought to see how points were allocated for various species. Some of the ratings are bizarre (25 for a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and 30 for a Goldcrest, 20 for a Song Thrush and 10 for a Corn Bunting) while some are close to impossible: 50 each for Great Bustard, Black Grouse and Ptarmigan.
Unfortunately I haven't got an example of the original book - perhaps these were the scores then.
Although points of 15 for House Sparrow, 25 for Little Egret and 25 for Red Kite would indicate that's not the case.
But that's enough carping - the new book is a good introduction to birds, and I'm sure that the points system provides a good reward for the efforts of youngsters new to the hobby [25 points].