Comins Coch, Ceredigion: Spring has returned to the woodland, but with predators in the skies, one young inhabitant must learn fast if it is to survive the season
It was well after midnight when the tawny owl began to call. With no wind, the sound seemed unreasonably loud and close at hand; it was probably perched in the large beech tree in the corner of the garden. Minutes passed before the first calls were returned by another, more distant, owl.
I stepped outside, trying to locate the second participant, but could gain only the vaguest impression of direction and distance – placing this owl somewhere across the hill. With the moon below the horizon and a continuous covering of cloud, the darkness was profound – apart from a solitary light in the hamlet across the valley. After several minutes I could make out the outline of the trees and the distant profile of the hills where they stood out against the clouds.