SEVERAL rescued owls are undergoing a period of convalescence at Foxglove Covert Nature Reserve.

With few opportunities to see both a tawny and a barn owl up close and side by side, two separate rescues provided the chance to compare the two species.

Last month a lifelong animal and bird rescuer Raye Wilkinson brought a tawny owl to Foxglove to be ringed before its release back into the wild.

It had been found lying in a main road in the Dales, wet and bedraggled. After some TLC from Mr Wilkinson, it fully recovered and went back into its natural habitat at Foxglove. Last week he brought a further tawny found in similar circumstances, which is now also being looked after, along with a barn owl.

The distinctive-looking white barn owl had a particularly narrow brush with death having been discovered lying on the road by Martin Robson, one of the MoD’s range wardens. After calling Foxglove’s two managers Sophie Crease and Gerry Dorrington, they all believed it was probably dead and destined to be preserved as an exhibit at the field centre.

Mr Dorrington said: "At first we thought it was dead, luckily Martin stopped a bus that was approaching us along the road. As it stopped the owl moved, if he hadn’t, it would definitely have been squashed. We were so pleased we were able to save it.”

Following its lucky escape, the barn owl was brought back to the reserve. After a period of convalescence and being ringed, along with the second tawny, they will both be released back into their natural habitats over the next few days when the weather is suitable.

Outdoor areas at Foxglove Covert, Catterick Garrison, remain open for visiting. Directions are available on the website. Entry is free with a small parking charge. Visitors must bring photo identification for security purposes.