"I just burst into tears" - Exmouth woman reveals how she became reunited with her beloved barn owl Gwedd
PUBLISHED: 14:00 27 February 2019
An woman has recalled the dramatic moment she was reunited with her barn owl which had been missing in Exmouth for almost a fortnight.
Nic Gibson said she burst into tears after finding Gwedd in a field last Monday following an exhaustive twelve-day search.
Gwedd had been spotted around Exmouth by several people after going missing on February 13.
The two-year-old bird was hounded out of her back garden by seagulls when she was being moved between aviaries.
Mrs Gibson said she found Gwedd thanks to the help of an Exmouth family.
She said: “We received a phone call telling us that Gwedd had been seen and photographed sitting on a garden fence.
“After looking at the photo and talking to the lady we concluded it was definitely Gwedd, but she had gone by the time we received the information.”
Mrs Gibson and her husband Andy returned to the site later that evening, calling for Gwedd in the surrounding fields.
She said: “No sooner than we had done that Andy spotted an owl land in the field, but it looked dark in colour.
“I shot up the hill of the field to look, all the time calling her.
“Suddenly I saw what Andy saw - a little dark bundle on the floor but with that unmistakable round white face looking at me.”
Despite the relief flooding through her, Mrs Gibson still had to capture Gwedd, with no idea if the owl had become wild since flying away.
“I dropped everything and raced across the field to her, slowed as I got nearer and kept calling her,” Mrs Gibson said.
“Gwedd took off from the ground and crashed into a hedge, so I moved slowly calling her as calmly as I could.
“I could see her look like ‘is that really my mum?’
“She then took off and landed on the fence right in front of me.
“I closed my eyes and just said quietly ‘please baby, please just come to me’ - I opened my eyes, tapped the glove, called her and clicked twice. It all seemed to happen in super slow motion.
“Gwedd took off from the fence and came straight to the glove, to me. I burst into tears with relief.”
Gwedd is now safely back at home with Mrs and Mr Gibson.
Mrs Gibson said: “It has been traumatic for me and for Gwedd.
“We are still nursing her back to health - we would have been lucky if she lasted another night.”