Nature studies at Inglewood House – What a Hoot!

This year has been a very good one both for the crops in the fields surrounding Inglewood House and for the birds nesting in the trees, hedges and boxes in the garden – we have seen plenty of fledgling Blue-tits, Goldfinches, Greenfinches and Blackbirds being brought to our various feeding stations by their grateful parents while adult Great-tits, Robins, Dunnocks, Woodpeckers, Jays, Pigeons, Doves and Magpies have also been visiting to collect food for their youngsters.

In recent days the damselflies and dragonflies have been performing their courtship dances – such wonderful colours but so hard to photograph, as they never stay still for more than a few seconds!

Raptors are well represented: a Barn Owl is often to be seen coursing the field margin at the bottom of the garden and there is a family of Little Owls who live in the Oak tree at the far end – their ‘hiccoughing’ calls never cease to amuse me. One of the offspring of the Tawny Owls who live in the orchard next to Inglewood House obviously hasn’t quite worked out what it is and regularly hoots away as we are having our afternoon cuppa. Overhead two, or sometimes three, Buzzards are an increasingly common sight while a Red Kite has been reported nesting in one of the former nurseries at Bressingham Hall. Lopham and Redgrave Fen – the home of the famous Raft Spider – is about a mile away, where Marsh Harriers can often be seen.

After a lengthy conversion, Bressingham Hall, itself, has now opened as a Wedding and Conference Venue, set in the wonderful gardens designed by Alan Bloom.

Smokie, the fluffy grey feral cat who we adopted earlier in the year, is a very loving animal that has really become one of the family. She has now adopted a feral kitten, herself! We are calling him Tiggy and estimate that he is about 16 weeks old. His confidence is building as they play together and she seems to be showing him things, including where her food bowl is!

After all the preparation, we really enjoyed opening our garden as part of the Bressingham & Fersfield Open Gardens, in late June. Despite some heavy showers, it was very successful and over £4,400 was raised for the Churches & Village Hall and we are already looking forward to doing it all again in 2018.

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