The Barn Owl Diaries- Part 1- By Elliot, the Owl Detective

Something mysterious is happening at Great Oaks. The groundskeeper is hearing tawnies at the back of the school, in the dense marshlands and woods. She even hears them in the garden. Kate heard one, too. Kate’s my Forest School Teacher and she’s the semi-groundskeeper.

Great Oaks has always had owls.

Me, Gareth and Tracey saw one during the lockdown. It was around the same time we saw my sparrowhawk.

A week after we saw the magnificent barnie, we sadly found a dead one. It was deep into the thorns so we decided to go and tell Gareth to collect it. We saved it from the foxes and kept its feathers. One day we’ll turn them into a fishing float, or a fly. Or even a bookmark. Gareth loves this last idea.

This morning, Kate and Josh were down at the Forest Shool Hut. It was the end of the first lesson when I decided to take a stroll down there.

When I got there, things seemed off. The sky was yellow because of the sand storm. Also, there was a pungent smell of owl pellet coming from the back corner of the hut. I searched far and wide until I looked behind a suspicious looking box.

I then discovered my first owl pellet, laying there in all its glory. Afterwards, I ran with the pellet to Tonia, my art teacher. It’s still down in the art room now, but it looks a bit different. That’s because I’ve dissected it and it’s full of tiny rodent skulls! Must be vole or mice- a delicious snack for an owl. I’ve googled pellets and I think it belonged to the legendary barnie.

Wow! It was full of dead rodents and bones. What a cool find. This means the owl has a connection with the shed. It is visiting it by night. My next step will be preserving the bones, finding more owl pellets and who knows, maybe another owl encounter?

Thanks for reading, Elliot

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