Viola Stirling’s Nature Diary: 28 Jul 1922

Viola’s diary entries for July continue to be written from Gartinstarry, where it appears she is spending much of her summer holidays. She is out on a summer’s evening and hears a strange cry, which she finds to be one of a young brown owl. Viola most likely means a tawny owl when she refers to a ‘brown owl’ and she has mentioned them in previous diary entry where she imitated their calls.

It is not clear why the young owl’s call sounds like ‘half croak, half whistle’, but tawny owls do typically fly from tree to tree. The Barn Owl Trust describes their call as ‘kewick’ for the females and ‘hoohoo’ for the males. Tawny owls will more often be heard than seen when they are out at night, so Viola was possibly quite lucky to see this one flying about.

Transcript

July 28th Gartinstarry 9.30 p.m.

Heard a peculiar cry in the trees so went

to investigate. Found a young brown owl flying from

tree to tree uttering this cry, half croak, half

whistle.

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