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Night with the Owls

Chris Packham relives programmes from The Living World archives. In this programme recorded in 1997, Lionel Kelleway is on a nocturnal owl prowl in Somerset.

Chris Packham relives programmes from The Living World archives.

The countryside at night was once the preserve of the poacher or gamekeeper, expertly tracking their quarry by the light of the moon, and a lifetime of local knowledge. Those skills are much in evident in this programme from 1997, when Lionel Kelleway joins Chris Sperring from the Hawk and Owl Trust in the West Country.

As the light fades, their quest is to see, or should that be hear the four owls possible in the Somerset countryside in summer, the tawny owl, little owl, barn owl plus the cryptic and elusive long eared owl. As the night gathers they begin with the most often heard sound of the night, the Twit Twoo of the tawny owl, but will they manage to hear a long eared owl before dawn? With just 2000 pairs of Long Eared Owl in Britain could it be a task too far even with skill and patience high up on the Mendip Hills.

Producer Andrew Dawes.

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22 minutes