Over the past few weeks we have been watching a lot of birds going to and fro with mouthfuls of grubs and seeds as their offspring have hatched.
We have a number of nest boxes of differing designs in various locations around the garden, designed to appeal to such birds as Robins, Sparrows, Wrens, Blue tits and Owls.
The Tawny Owls that nested in a box intended for Little Owls last year did not return this time, but we have heard them in the nearby Orchard, so we know they have found somewhere they like.
The ‘Letterbox’ nest box is always a firm favourite with Blue tits and it has been a great delight to once again see their large family fledge from there and congregate on the nut feeder just outside our Sitting room window.
Several pairs of Blackbirds have been bringing their young to the bird feeder just outside the Guest’s Dining Room and we’ve been pleased to see that our resident Robins, Thrushes, Green Finches, Goldfinches and Wagtails have also all raised families as have the Green Woodpeckers who often visit us from the Orchard. Last week a youngster came to the bird feeder just outside the kitchen door and fed confidently by itself, but reverted to being a ‘begging chick’ as soon as the parent bird joined it!
Every so often, a pair of Jays also visit the bird feeder – they are beautiful birds when seen close up and we hope they are breeding, too.
There are a pair of Cuckoos around but we haven’t, as yet, seen any of their young being dutifully fed by their surrogate parents.
The Buzzards continue to soar, lazily, on the thermals over the field behind Inglewood House – they don’t come into the garden or the Orchard, so the smaller birds know they have a haven in which to live. Our two ‘adoptive’ cats seem not to bother them too much, either – they look at anything that moves and the younger one sometimes makes play pounces in the direction of a pigeon (which would be far too big for him to deal with!) but, in general, they seem content to be fed by us rather than have to stalk their own prey.