Blogger: Becky Ingham, Face to Face Team Manager
I have a white car, occasionally.
Strictly speaking, for the 2 days a month after cleaning it. In between times it reverts to its traditional Norfolk winter plumage of muddy brown, with odd insults scrawled in the back. This is the downside of life on the Norfolk coast in the winter months and I have to say, it's not a bad price to pay for some of the amazing wildlife I see on a daily basis. The first part of my commute takes me through the old marshes which fringe Hickling and lead to the coast. Most evenings and mornings I see ghostly barn owls, patrolling the field edges and almost glowing in the watery winter sunshine.
A couple of days ago I was driving home with my two girls in the back of the car (they're still young enough to find owls more impressive than electronic toys). We drove past a white farm-sign on the side of the road, which caught my attention as it looked a little taller than normal in the half-light. I stopped and slowly reversed and as I did so all three of us gasped as we came eye to eye with a magnificent barn owl, about 4 feet away from the car, and staring right at us from the top of the sign.
After about 15 seconds it bored of us, lazily swooping along the side of the road. Driving slowly off, it flew parallel to the car for around 500 yards. It was only after it banked and flew over the field that we stopped and realised we had all been holding our breath. My five-year old summed it up.
'Wow, mum. That was coooool!!!'