Tonight, I wanted to find out if we had Little Owls nesting near by. All the indicators were good, as earlier in the year they have been very noticable, even now they never seem too far away. So, as it was the hottest, and most humid night of the year I decided on a late-night walk from the house directly through the hay fields and pasture behind the garden. I went late - 10.30, but still some light in the west) and I soon picked-up and followed the sound of Little Owls.
I hadn't walked for more than 5 minutes from the house, when, from a hedgerow not too far away, a cacophony of Little Owl mayhem filled the still and humid air. It was obvious that this was the sound of an adult, returning back to feed its brood of owlets. The owlets were making a begging call which sounded a bit like chalk being scraped along a blackboard, and this could be heard along a 50 metre length of hedgerow with some tall trees. I'm sure the original nest hole will be in an old craggy oak somewhere along this edge, but by now it was too dark to see anything. The sounds I'd heard were all the information I needed.
As I walked back to the house, the Shadoxhurst church bells were ringing for eleven 'o' clock. The summer triangle stars of Deneb, Vega and Altair, were positioned nicely overhead and with two glow-worms magically shining away in the horse pastures behind the garden, it had been a worthwhile walk.