Tag Archives: swallows

Butterflies, Bees and Birds

It might not have the same ring to it but this is the order that I spotted the first of each of my eagerly-awaited arrivals this Spring. Beyond daffodils and lambs, these are the sightings that really make my heart sing and a sure sign that Spring really is here and the weather might finally start to buck up.

On 15th April we were treated to, not just the first, but multiple butterfly (Painted Lady) sightings, almost 3 weeks later than in 2017. This was closely followed on 20th April by the first bumblebees, only a week or so later than in 2017. I’ve been paying particular attention to the bees since reading Dave Goulson’s wonderful books A Buzz in the Meadow and A Sting in the Tail – I highly recommend them if you haven’t read them.

Last week, on 25th April was the final sighting in my ultimate Spring trinity – the swallows! Well, one swallow, to be more precise. They still haven’t returned en masse but in previous years it’s usually been during May so they’ll be ‘in the post’. Their aerial acrobatics are always entrancing and something to look forward to.

The spot of our first swallow sighting – it was too quick to capture!

While out on the hills last week we were also treated to the delicious, heady, coconut scent of gorse flowers in the sun – one of my favourite aromas.

Spring may be late this year but it’s quickly finding it’s feet!




Birds in the Garden

The garden seems to have been under snow for most of the past few weeks and Spring still feels a long way away. With more of the white stuff due over the coming days and itchy fingers I decided to do something more constructive and start keeping a note of some of the feathered visitors we have to the garden and I’ve created a new gallery page to log them.

As well as the more common garden birds like sparrows and robins we also see more interesting species like woodpeckers, bullfinches and swallows. The migrating geese fly overhead in huge skeins each year and we often get pheasants and partridges hiding away from the nearby shoot.  We have nesting starlings in the corner of the roof each year and occasionally get coal tits nesting in the bird box – one year we were lucky enough to see the baby fledging, which was a real joy as it bumbled it’s way around the garden as mum and dad chattered around it. We regularly hear owls but of course rarely see them, unless on a well moonlit dog walk. One time Sandy saw a sparrow hawk shoot down to the bird table and take out it’s prey – a bit of a surprise, and not something either of us has seen since.

They’re always a joy to see and hear and I’m hoping to learn more about the birds that visit our garden by keeping this log. I’ve got an identification book by the back door to help me with this endeavour as I’m sure there must be plenty that I don’t know just now.


Spring arrives & it’s all gone bonkers!

In the week that saw us celebrate our 3rd anniversary of moving to our country cottage we saw a lot of changes in the garden.


Our 3rd Anniversary in Nine Mile Burn


We have a pair of nesting blue tits in our bird box (yay), the starlings have already fledged and there are now sparrows in their old nest. The swallows are back swooping and darting all around and the geese have returned to the fields roundabout, some with young. After a seemingly never-ending Winter, Spring is most definitely here.


Rhododendron- Golden Witt 


The garden has gone bonkers, everything’s growing and blooming and budding and it’s heartwarming to see! The cherry blossom is out and the beech hedge is finally turning, that fresh green really makes a difference in our garden.


Setting up the new Potting Shed


The (short) spell of warmer, sunny weather was filled to the brim with ‘getting shit done’ in the garden – everything from getting the potting shed set-up to clearing, weeding and edging, sowing seeds and bulbs (better late than never) and I even made up some hanging baskets inspired by the book Crops in Pots, that I reviewed a while back.


Our latest haul from The Secret Herb Garden


We had a lovely trip to The Secret Herb Garden (LOVE this place) to source new herbs as the chickens have self-seasoned and destroyed what we had. We got lemon verbena, lovage and borage (inspired by Petal, Leaf, Seed), several new rosemarys, chamomile, sage, lemon balm, oregano, fennel, jasmine and rhubarb, amongst others.


Re-potting some plants for gifts


Our new front lawn is looking great and we’ve just bought a new mower and hedge cutter so we’re getting tooled up to tackle the front garden.


Thank You Miracle-Gro for this amazing surprise box of goodies!



So much to do now but sadly the torrential rain is back so no idea when we’ll be able to crack on – we live in hope though, always hope!


It’s been well over 20 years since our house was a pub (garden find)


Jasmine potted in a vintage watering can! 


Chicken Coop is finally painted – whoop whoop!

5 weeks after building our chicken coop the weather was finally warm and dry enough for us to paint it with preservative. As you can see, Cosmo wasn’t going to let a bit of painting get in the way of a cuddle. Not quite sure when we’ll get chance to get the hens though as we’re busy the next couple of weekends.

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Continue reading Chicken Coop is finally painted – whoop whoop!