Hi, I'm Rudi, i'm 8 years old and my favourite book is 'Tarka the Otter' by Henry Williamson. Its about the life of an otter named Tarka and British Wildlife. One night i was reading the book with my dad and i said that i wanted to see all the animals in the book, he said i should do it and call it the Tarka Challenge. My Tarka Challenge started on 1st January 2012. The book contains 89 birds, 54 land based animals, 120 plants and 56 aquatic organisms.

The rules are simple, i must either see each thing myself or photograph it using my trail camera. I will try and see each thing on my local patch (Ogmore River Catchment) but may need to look somewhere else in Britain.

Tawny Owl

Tawny Owl (Strix aluco)

We just decided to go for a walk after our tea. I said to dad to take his camera but he said he was not going to because whenever we have not got the camera we always end up seeing something good.

We walked for a bit and could hear some Blackbirds making a fuss on the edge of a wood. Then my brother heard a Tawny Owl call. We stayed still and then we heard it call again. We walked towards the wood and saw a quick flash of a brown owl flying close to the ground in between the trees. We were all excited because we had never seen a Tawny Owl before. We walked on a bit further and heard it call again and my dad spotted it perching in a tree. We were really close to the owl and had a great view, we could see it blinking and looking at us, even without binnoculars.

They are really beautiful birds but can be quite dangerous. A famous wildlife cameraman called Eric Hoskings was once taking photos of a Tawny Owl which then attacked him and blinded him in one eye. The Owl probably thought he was going to hurt its chicks in the nest and was just protecting its young.

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