What a Handsome Owl he has turned in to, don't you think? He clicked his beak when he saw me and there was a fair amount of Head Bobbing going on too, as he tried to remember who I was :o)
Remember this little fluff-ball whom we found injured on the road back at the end of May, not very old and bleeding from a cracked beak?
We all thought he might not make it, but....here is is a week later, still fluffy but looking decidedly less shocked than the night of his accident and feeding OK on the brown mice Jill was offering him...
And now here we are, nearly eight weeks later, he is almost fully-feathered and flying about energetically in his shed like a Properly Grown Up Wol :o)
Isn't he beautiful?
The Good News is that Jill thinks he is ready to be released, so I am driving back over to her place this evening to collect him. If all goes well, he'll fly up into our lovely old Apple Tree as the gloaming comes down, and from thence be off into The Wild. I hope The Wild will look after him and that Instinct is so deeply entrenched it will take over once he is free and show him how to fend for himself.
I shall be whispering a word or two to the Apple Tree and asking him to look after Bop. We are Old Friends, that tree and I. For many years he took very great care of my children while they climbed among his branches and swung happily from the swing that hangs by him- I'm sure he will care for the owl to the best of his ability.
So, I am feeling slightly nervous, because returning any wild animal to The Wild is a big thing, with no guarantee of success, but we have reached that point where he needs to be free.
We'll all be willing him on, right? I'm sure that counts for something.
I should be releasing him about 8pm UK time tonight- if you can spare a moment to send him luck and love about that time when he'll be making his First Foray into his real world, I'd appreciate it. I feel you're all part of his story too. I will of course report back tomorrow and let you know.