Saturday 29th October 2011
Yet another year has flown by, like the proverbial owls in my life. It’s exactly two years since I started writing this blog.
It is Halloween Week at Muncaster at the moment. This is one of the biggest events on the Muncaster calendar, and the event which will bring the 2011 visitor season to a close. As part of this event we have been conducting spooky owl tours round the Owl Centre after dark. We have been doing this every half hour, starting at 6pm, and the last tour being at 8pm. We still have three nights ahead of us at the time of writing this blog. These will likely be the busiest nights. The spooky owl tours have proved very popular.
During one night this week, the owls in the Laybourne aviary were very active. As we were going through history recounting the myths and legends associated with these birds, two Barn Owls decided that now was the time to settle scores; they set to each other, locking talons, while scrabbling on their backs with their wings flapping, and emitting blood curdling shrieks, sounding to the entire world like they were killing each other. ‘Oh my god’ one visitor exclaimed. The owls soon realized the folly of their ways, and parted talons, then flying off in opposite directions.
The Ashy-faced Owls and the Great Grey Owls have been great performers every night as well. One of the Great Grey Owls never ceases to come to the feed table near the mesh as soon as a new tour arrives. The Ashy-faced Owls are constantly emitting savage demonic screeches as soon as we start our talk. Everyone’s a critic! Maybe he is saying; ‘I’m sick of this. When are you going to stop disturbing our sleep? This has gone on all week!’
The upshot of it all is that Darkest Muncaster at Halloween is one of the greatest nights you can have, and what with the illuminations; Spooky Owl Tours; Scary Maze and Castle Ghost Tours there is something for everyone.
I will leave you with some pictures from Halloween 2011.
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|World Owl Trust
Registered Charity Number: 1107529
Limited Company Number: 5296745
The World Owl Trust is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA). The Trust relies on a dedicated membership, visitors, donations and legacies.