Saturday, 23 March 2013


....on Paul Riddles blog (owlsaboutthatthen) I left a comment on his blog about a Barn Owl that had been ringed in the UK (Oxfordshire) and found in 2005 in Afghanistan sadly dead. My comment was to suggest it hitch hiked in an RAF transporter etc. This seems to have made me look/sound a bit silly, and to be fair on the face of it, it would be a silly thing to say...
Now let me clarify a few things...I CAN TAKE A JOKE, so I'm not upset about the subsequent comments, that followed but feel I SHOULD clarify why I said what I said, though I should stress I found it funny too though....
I've got a group of friends whom I grew up with and they're all in various armed forces, from one friend (Royal Logistics Corp) I got an email from Belize about four years ago with a photo attached "found this in the container, what is it?" was a Nightjar, same bloke a few weeks later "what's this mate?"...a Wryneck. A friend who served in the Royal Anglians in the second Gulf war sent me an email "found this Tawny Owl dead in the container", same bloke but in Cyprus a few years later "found a dead a Kestrel today.."...see a pattern emerging? I also have an anecdotal tale from a friend serving at RAF Benson (Oxfordshire!!) on a regular basis they have either a Kestrel,Tawny Owl or a Barn Owl that when they are loading up/preparing containers with food/rations supplies the containers sometimes are left open (for any last minute changes etc) he has witnessed a Barn Owl perch on top before going in the same with the Tawny Owl, whilst the Kestrel perches on the top rail of the container, apparently/presumed that small mammals are attracted to the food, evidence being dead mammals being found in these containers when opened at the other end. He also once told me of a story about a Barn Owl that roosted in an empty container and would've ended up in Wiltshire if one squaddie had checked the container before it had departed. In fact at RAF Benson they have a regular Short Eared Owl that hunts the in-field part of the runway and needs regular flushing. Also in these containers they have in the past found (all dead) Adders,Grass Snakes,Voles,Spiders and various other insects, when the containers come back they are fumigated before opening so you can imagine the creep crawlies they've found inside, sadly small passerines occasionally too.


  1. I'll not laugh at you.....your supposition seems reasonable to me.

    I could be as daft as you though.

    Birders know everything and twitchers are worse.

    1. In all fairness if I read the comment and had been left by someone else and I had read it I would also be scratching my head and thinking "no way", but it's was one of those quirky things I read and thought "I wonder" and to be fair the joke was funny too

  2. I didn't think you comment on Paul's blog was at all daft Doug. In fact I suspect that it might be the only feasible explanation! My comment, however, was intentionally daft!

  3. Your comment WAS funny Richard, please don't take the above blog post being aimed at you, it wasn't/isn't. I had a two friends and one other email (whom I don't consider a stop emailing me...take the hint J.Copeland)and roughly said "what a stupid comment you've left Doug", "what are you talking about mate" and the email saying "you do talk some crap, even some bloke is taking the piss out of you" so I felt it neccesary for the sake of two of my mates to explain the comment and to the person who emailed me acknowledge that I thought your comment was just a joke and not a dig at my comment etc.

  4. I thought that I should just add that I have NO problems with Doug's comments!