Short Eared Owl

A short eared owl dogged me at Elmley,

everywhere I went, there it was.

Floating over the sea wall, landing on fence posts, on the ground, feet from my car.

Watching me with a murderous glare, black fans around yellow eyes, set amid plumage the colour of winter reedbeds.

On the ground this bird was a chunk, a hump, a bird hillock

But then it lifted, unrealistic long wings exploding out from its side, and beat away across the sea wall, down to the saltings to hunt the tide line.