Over the years, as the trees and shrubs have matured, we have continued to add more species of plants to the garden. This, in turn, has inevitably encouraged a greater variety of insect life, resulting in a wider variety of birds coming here to feed and nest.
Among the newer visitors there are great-spotted woodpeckers, linnets, goldfinches and bullfinches. In the larger species we have fleeting visits from pheasants and families of partridges. Having so many smaller birds has also afforded us occasional sightings of a female sparrowhawk looking to feed her hungry brood.
Although there is a heronry in the adjacent wood, we only ever saw the herons gliding effortlessly over our house en route for a spot of fishing in the nearby river. This pattern changed last year, however, when one lone heron came to our ponds in Spring to feast on the colony of frogs.
On the one hand, we didn’t want to harm him, but, on the other, we wanted to keep the frog population which had built up over the years. A balance had to be struck, so most days saw us doing a fair amount of arm-flapping, while the cats ran towards him, helping to scare him off. As we weren’t at home every day I reckon he got his fair share.
Flambouyant! - Today's flambouyant (Royal poinciana) blooms take the show. I grew this tree from seeds I collected in Guyana 5 and a half years ago.
10 months ago