THE OWL SANCTUARY
Asby WI members and four visitors welcomed guest speakers Paul Rose and Nic Dawes, plus five owls, to their September meeting! Paul and Nic had come to talk about the work they do at The Owl Sanctuary where, to date, 36 owls have been rescued.
Paul explained that he had started the sanctuary when, as a result of diabetes, he had had his right leg amputated and had to give up a career in the RAF. Nic joined him as a volunteer 5 years ago. As he talked, Paul introduced the owls one by one, giving each one’s name, telling each one’s story and, at the same time, providing an incredible amount of information about owls generally: their food, hunting patterns, sleeping habits, and the fact that those they had rescued would always have to remain in the sanctuary.
The owls he had with him were all different, not only by species, but also by their own individual traits of character – just like people! It was the barn owl’s first visit to a WI and she could be seen, on her perch, trying to sort out and checking just where she was. Compared with the barn owl, the Asian brown wood owl and the tawny owl, the other two owls that came were tiny. These were a little owl and an Indian scops who, like the others, sat patiently on their perches while Paul and Nic talked but were very happy to snuggle up with their keepers when it was their turn to be in the limelight.
Following the talk,and during refreshments which were provided by Maud Holder and Barbara Askew, members were able to hold, cuddle and stroke the delightful birds under Paul and Nic’s watchful eyes. This was a real privilege.
President Annie Johnson gave the vote of thanks and also happened to be the winner of the competition for a representation of an owl; second, Pat Bevan. Barbara Askew and Anne Hulse won the raffle at the end of a fascinating evening.