Need more than flowering grass? Here’s some real spring colour.
OK, it’s not as pretty as other flowers, but Meadow Foxtail is the first grass to flower here in the spring, so we think it deserves a mention.
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.
With few predators (no fish in the lake) the taddies have taken over. We might have a bit of a problem if they all turn into frogs and toads!
The female barn owl carefully steps around the eggs, then settles down next to the male: turn up the volume to hear the gentle chittering.
Doesn’t mean field is on fire again!
The damp winter has helped the cuckoo flowers this year – proof that spring has arrived at last.
All going well, with the male hunting well at night in the good weather.
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.
Three eggs so far, the owls are doing well with good hunting thanks to the good weather at night.
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.
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!