From Nature Cure by Richard Mabey (p.135):
The tawny owl's generic name is Sirix, Latin for witch, and there are stories of the Church burning owls for witchcraft in the Middle Ages…
The above quote is taken from the final paragraph I read over breakfast this morning before I put on my coat and went to get the car out of the garage. As I stepped out of the door, a tawny owl flew across my path and headed off down the hill. I have heard it hooting for the last week or so, but this was the very first time I have seen a tawny owl in my garden.
I think you'll find it was.