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Owl drops in

PUBLISHED: 13:27 10 December 2008 | UPDATED: 14:51 07 July 2010

FOR 21 years, Eddie and Helen Howard have enjoyed watching the birds in the garden of their Dereham home and listening to their tuneful twitterings.

But the couple were not expecting to get quite so up close and personal with one of their feathered friends who decided to play an early Father Christmas and arrive in their living room via the chimney.

FOR 21 years, Eddie and Helen Howard have enjoyed watching the birds in the garden of their Dereham home and listening to their tuneful twitterings.

But the couple were not expecting to get quite so up close and personal with one of their feathered friends who decided to play an early Father Christmas and arrive in their living room via the chimney.

This beautiful tawny owl was found perched on the back of their sofa one morning last month, looking out of the window, completely unfazed by its situation.

“We were sitting in the living room one evening with our daughter who was up from London sitting on the hearth rug when she heard a twit-twoo and we thought there must be an owl on the top of the chimney,” said Mr Howard.

“Next morning, there was our visitor. He was not distressed at all and completely unharmed although it was lucky I had not let our two cats into the room first. I think he was a little surprised when I walked into the room and fluttered a bit, but soon calmed down enough for my wife to wrap him in a towel and we put him outside.

“He flew off and we have not seen him again. I don't know how he got down the chimney because there is a cowl on top, but that was the only way he could have got in. He is quite welcome to come back

again.”

Mr Howard, an accountant,

said they had seen owls outside as their garden backs onto Little Neatherd, a picturesque open space in the town, but never expected to get quite so close to one.

Luckily, this Santa impersonator only left one small present - on the back of the sofa.

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