Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I start this diary just 3 weeks after moving into Keepers Cottage so I wish to bring you up to date with what has happened in and around our cottage since then:

15th September - A beautiful day and our first day here, the Michaelmas Daisies are still in full bloom and there is hardly a flower that has not got the attention of a butterfly, bee, hoverfly or moth. Red Admirals are in abundance, along with Small Tortoiseshells and Painted Ladies. Learn more about butterflies by going to http://www.wildforms.co.uk/html/butterflies.html

16th September - I saw a mouse in the garden and Pete saw a weasel just ouside our front gate.
19th September - 2 young toads by the garage.
21st September - We are still in the process of moving in and opened the hire van which we had loaded at our previous address the night before, inside was a large toad that must have hitched a lift.

Learn more about toads at http://www.wildforms.co.uk/html/amphibians.html

22nd September - Set up a bird feeding station outside the kitchen window in amongst some shrubs. Soon visited by Greattits, bluetits and coaltits. Saw a wren in the dry stone wall in the front garden.
Learn more about the tit family of birds at http://www.wildforms.co.uk/html/tits.html
23rd September - We ventured into the woods that border the back of our garden and found a variety of toadstools. From our front window, we saw hares fighting in the field oposite and a buzzard being mobbed by crows. There are still swallows about and robins, blackbird and songthrushes are now regular visitors to the garden.
Learn more about robins at http://www.wildforms.co.uk/html/robin.html and learn more about the thrush family at http://www.wildforms.co.uk/html/thrushes_and_blackbird.html
24th September - Mike (our son) set up a bird table outside his bedroom window, soon visited by bluetits, greattits, greenfinches and chaffinches.

Learn more about finches at http://www.wildforms.co.uk/html/finches.html

25th September - Threw out some rotten grapes and apples and they were soon covered in Red Admiral butterflies.
26th September - Found an owl pellet full of beetles in the back garden and we were also visited briefly by a large dragonfly although I didnt get a chance to see what type.

27th September - Flock of long tailed tits in fron garden which were joined by bluetits, greattits, chaffinches, warblers and goldcrests.
28th September - We appear to have a resindent toad in our compost bin, who just sits and looks at us when we open the top, only moving when he gets peelings on top of him. Mike saw a stoat fighting with a rat just up the road. Pheasants and hares were seen in the field opposite.

29th September - A grey wagtail landed on the conservatory roof.
4th October - Threw out some chicken bones after making soup and we were soon visited by a stoat.
5th October - Put out a bowl of hedgehog food hoping that it might attract the stoat again. Found it full of very large slugs.
6th October - Very wet and windy. Visited by a male pheasant, so moved the hopper filled with seed to the side garden for it to feed.

Learn more about pheasants at http://www.wildforms.co.uk/html/pheasants.html

7th October - Male pheasant now a regular visitor and a flock of goldfinches were seen on the gorse over the road. Mike and Kirsty saw a dear just up the road and in the evening we all saw a barn owl hunting over the small loch that we can see from our front window.

Learn more about owls at
9th October - Not strictly wildlife but a cow escaped from the field into the woods and whilst thefarmer tried to get it back into the field it instead came into our garden- one way to meet the neighbours! (I mean the farmer, not the cow).


Kanha Tiger Reserve said...

This is an excellent blog with good images of birds. Thnx

MarkP said...

Hi Valerie

Just discovered your blog which is very interesting. Always pleasing to discover people in D&G with an interest in wildlife. I think the dragonfly you photographed on 26 September 2006 is a female Soutern Hawker which is a very unusual record for Dumfries and Galloway. You may like to consider sending records of your wildlife sightings through to the Centre I manage (Dumfries and Galloway Environmental Resources Centre), which maintains a regional database of wildlife information which it share with others. We also help to support and encourage people who are interested in wildlife and wildlife recording. Please contact me if you wish to find out more - my details, and lots more info, are available on our newly updated website at www.dgerc.org.uk