As Jen and I trudged up the hill, two minutes into our evening walk, we heard a rasping commotion. Seconds later, a barn owl flew across the road and disappeared between two houses with an outraged mistle thrush in hot pursuit.
A few minutes later, as we walked up the farm track above our friend’s field, Jen spotted the owl again, heading up the field. We watched as it zig-zagged back and forth, then plunged dramatically into the long grass after some rodent. Missed! It then headed farther off down the field before taking a second plunge, staying down a lot longer this time. We correctly guessed it had made a kill. A couple of minutes later, it rose from the field, heading in our general direction, with the remains of a hapless vole clasped in its talons.