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I'm not a great bird expert, but I've been thrilled by the avian developments at Hookgate Cottage over the last few weeks. SwallowsWe've had swallows and wagtails nesting in the carport, and this week their offspring have fledged. Great excitement. We've had a great affinity with both sets of parents; the wagtails moved in to the new house before we did, and there were swallows in the old stables we knocked down. It's really lovely to see them back, and I'm chuffed both sets of young ones seem to be doing so well. There are 5 young swallows, and I'm not sure how many wagtails wedged down the back of one of my wood piles.
Wagtail and bumblebee Oi! Give us our bee back!
They seem like "our" birds, which is one of the lovely things about gardening with an eye on the local wildlife. I love the godlike sense of running our own little ecosystem, and seeing animals towards the top of the food chain flourishing is a clear indication that we're doing something right. The insect population at Hookgate is doing very well. We're managing our hedges and field to encourage diversity, and have a wide range of wildflowers out there as well as the roof. The pond's not properly sorted yet, but holds enough water to be helpful - not least for swallow nest building operations! We've seen our first bats and Chasers too, which is exciting.
Swallow on wire Very elegant...
Swallow at Hookgate ...nearly!