And not just one but two: after a year of empty nests we now have a pair of barn owls taking an interest in the old nest box. We’re going to give them plenty of peace and quiet while they settle in. There’s a lot of winter ahead for them but the field is ready, with plenty of scrubland for hunting.
It won’t be long before the trees are bare, so here’s a bit of November colour.
The pond is over 7 1/2 feet deep and overflowing! Lovely fresh water though.
It’s the season for mushrooms, so here are a few at Tipton’s Croft. We’re not mycologists (though think we know what some of them are) and have definitely not touched or picked them. But we think they look nice.
A Yellow-Tail moth caterpillar, we think!
What a difference twelve months makes. October 2018 to October 2019.
Thanks to John from the Shropshire Barn Owl Group for his visit and advice about how to attract barn owls back to the croft. We’ve cleaned out the nest boxes, laid fresh bedding, cleared overhanging branches, installed some random fence posts nearby (as perches for the owls) and also installed ‘pencil’ cameras in each box so we can easily monitor them. Now we just wait…
Or more specifically, haylage. 28 bales this time, three times as many as last year. Mixed feelings as we now have a bare field rather than a wildflower meadow, and it’s a sure sign summer is coming to an end.
The gall of the Diplolepis rosae gall wasp on a dog rose. Pretty but a bit weird.
Fingerprint, or recently cut hay meadow?
Here are some of the wildflowers this year. Enjoy!
The hay’s been cut and is drying in the sun ready for baling.
You can’t have a wildflower meadow without bees, so thanks to Sue and Glynn we have lots of them.
A night of thunder, lightning, and a lot of rain. Not a night for owls, and the hay’s been flattened, but the lake’s a lot fuller as a result.
And nature’s loving it. Yellow rattle, wild carrot, bees and swallows.
From April 2018 to June 2019.
After only eight months the pond is now full, thanks to the old clay field drains helping to fill it up. It will take time to clear and for the edges to fill with plantlife, but it’s a start.
Three years later and the wildflower meadow is taking shape, with successful growth of native seeds that we planted the previous autumn.
It might not look like much but gushing out of the pipe is water from our new borehole. We now have an unlimited supply of free cool crystal clear fresh water!