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
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.
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 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 http://www.wildforms.co.uk/html/owls.html
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).