I’ve begun to get a few shots of the resident wildlife (albeit marred by window reflections) to share. I can’t believe how confident these creatures are, they don’t seem to mind seeing or hearing me through the window. There are usually robins around, on the wall or hedge, and one in particular that stands in the porch by the front door and calls until i put food out for it. Wrens and dunnocks spend their time in the tangled clematis which drapes over the porch and great tits are regular visitors, very smart with perfect plumage. Tiny blue tits and exquisite coal tits are constantly flitting to the feeder and chaffinches briefly fly out of the hedges to pick food from the wall.
There has been one occurrence so far of a beautiful warm feathered nuthatch on the peanuts, and remarkably a tree-creeper on a feeder further away (have only seen these on tree trunks before). A flock of long-tailed tits gather sporadically, always very animated and talkative. They are unusual, sweet-looking things close up, buff, black and white with subtle chest markings which look as though they have been blended with a paint brush. Their long tail feathers and badger striped heads make them instantly recognisable, and close up you can notice their upper eyelids glow orange or red which apparently varies depending on their mood. They are particularly susceptible to looking bedraggled in the rain and can look quite scruffy and fluffy!
Roe deer travel through the land regularly, often at dawn – this morning they had somehow got into the front garden – and i managed to get a photo of them as they jumped the fence and ran off across the fields, their white rumps glowing in the sunrise.
There are fantastic red squirrels that are great characters – I’m not sure how many yet but at least three different visitors – one is the typical shining chestnut colour, one rust tinted with a greyer back, and one with dark brown ear tufts. They are inquisitive and will lean off the feeder while they chew, looking in through the window. They run along the dry stone walls around the garden, and leap across the huge gaps with ease.
The most magnificent pheasant i have ever seen walked past a few days ago, deep green and blue, with shining vibrant feathers. Apparently he bangs on the door of the neighbour to be fed!
A crow lives in the nearest tree at the front of the house, it has the only timid personality out of all the birds and can’t quite bring itself to fly down for food. I have seen two magpies, briefly, and more regularly a spectacular jay, who has discovered the nuts on the wall, and flies in from the nearby copse to carry off ten or so at a time.
A buzzard sits on a wire down the lane each day near the marsh pond and three regularly circle around the woodland and back garden. I saw five very tiny buff coloured birds in the trees behind the house, flitting about, it was only when i saw the flashes of yellow and orange on their heads that i realised they were goldcrests – quite lovely.
A sparrowhawk has been regularly flying through a small gap by the side of the house by the bird feeder, and across the lawn, today it landed on the wall looking straight at me, less than ten foot away, it had fantastic linear markings on its chest, and bright yellow eyes. I didn’t dare move to get the camera!
I continue to spot new creatures, this morning i saw three bullfinches highlighted in the sunlight, in a collection of small trees behind the bothy. Two males, one with stronger coral colouring, and a female with lovely dusty buff feathers and a jet black cap. They were picking off the buds from the tips of the branches, and flying down to the stream.
On a final note, the solitary crow gained the confidence to fly down to the nuts today, eating them whole until a little robin landed and frightened it away!