St Mark’s fly

Swarms of them in the field, usually appearing on the 25th of April (St Mark’s Day) but a day late this year because it’s a leap year?! Weird-looking things dangling their legs in the air, but they don’t bite and are good pollinators so we’re letting them do their thing.


A little incident today with a bonfire getting a little bigger than planned. Thanks to the amazing Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service it all ended safely with a scorched field but no significant damage. Lessons learned and someone at Tipton’s Croft has had his matches confiscated and is only allowed to use blunt scissors in the office.

Home delivery

The female can’t go hunting now, so the male does it for her, bringing back a nice fat field vole, but expects and gets something in return: but he’s so keen he doesn’t even wait for her to have her meal first.

(warning: scenes of a noisy and graphic nature!)


At last the two barn owls have done what comes naturally and we now have two eggs in the nest box. Hopefully some more to come over the next few days, then a month of waiting before the first one hatches. At least something good is going on at the moment!


Here’s the stock dove minding its own business on the nest when a jackdaw comes in and tries to get the eggs. Dove 1 Jackdaw 0.

Update 2020.04.11 Unfortunately the jackdaw eventually won when the dove decided enough was enough and abandoned the nest.

First egg of the year!

At last the new nest box is being used properly, but not by the owls. A squirrel has spent the past few days filling it with nest material and it has now laid an egg. Hopefully the first of a few (squirrels lay up to eight each year). Won’t be long before we have lots of cute little baby critters!