30 Days Wild 2019 – Day 05

For a few weeks a family of brown rats have been visiting the garden.  They live in the field and pop under the fence to take food from the bird feeder.  I know most people don’t like rats and to be honest this family is expanding.  They haven’t been seen venturing any further than the bird feeding area so I think they are fairly contained on that side of the garden (for now at least). 

A few weeks ago they were quite shy and would hide in the field and peak through the gap under the fence.  

Now they are a little more bold!  I think they realise it is safe to come out when I am in the garden and I can actually get quite close without them running away.  They are weary of the cats who sit in the garden next to the ground feeder ready to pounce on them.  There haven’t been any ‘presents’ left so we don’t think the cats are very effective at catching them!  

I have spent this evening sat at garden table watching them dart about collecting little bits of food and hurrying back out into the field.  I think I have found their burrow entrance and am going to put the trailcam out to see if I can get any footage of them using it.  

Brown rats were introduced to the UK in 1700 and have spread widely due to their ability to adapt to their surroundings and breed at a rapid rate – a female can have approx 60 young a year!  I’m hoping the garden rats don’t have quite that many!   

 

30 Days Wild 2019 – Day 04

After a long day at work it was nice to get out into the garden.  When I get to my patch I like to go out into the garden and check on all the plants to make sure they are all okay.  Today I discovered the cat had dug up my borage and used the pot as a toilet! I was not best pleased; there is field behind the fence why can’t he just use that! 

As I was walking around I noticed there were a lot of bees on the few remaining flowers of the aquilegia.  I started to follow one of the bees around the flowers as he flew from one to the next.  I think he is an Early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum) and believe he is male due to his facial hair :).  Early bumblebee’s have a reddish tail and yellow markings but their colours can vary and in workers their yellow abdominal strip can be reduced.  Why does there have to be so much variation in colour form bee to bee of the same species?! It makes it very difficult for people like me that are new bees! A lot of studying needs to be done to make me more confident in my identifications.   

Early bumblebees are one of the first to emerge and are active from March to June.  They have short tongues and I think that my photograph shows him nectar robbing.  This is when a bee chews a hole in the flower close to the nectar and steals it without touching the reproductive part of the flower, thus not helping pollination.  There were however other bees on the flowers that were taking nectar, providing the pollination that the early bumblebee was not.

30 Days Wild 2019 – Day 03

If you have been reading my garden blog posts you will be aware I have been growing wild flowers from seed to plant in the garden and also the field.  Tonight I spent an hour planting out as many as I could into the garden. They really needed to be planted out before now but I’m new to all this and still learning; though I have a feeling they will all be okay 🙂 I keep forgetting that we are only at the start of June and at this time last year I was only just sprinkling seeds in the beds hoping they would germinate, so feel I have made more progress this year. 

The flower bed I have been planting isn’t very big but even if you only have a few pots on the patio, adding wildflowers to the garden is a great way to give additional support to our pollinators. They will also look amazing too 🙂

Tonight I have planted out red campion, oxeye daisy, common fleabane and lady’s bedstraw.

30 Days Wild 2019 – Day 02

Not every Sunday, but on most, I do my best to take part in #Wildflowerhour on Twitter.  Wild Flower Hour is a wonderful community of people that are interested in the wild flowers which are in bloom in the UK at the present time.  I have been taking part for about 9 months now and I have learnt so much from everyone that takes part.  If you are interested in our wild flowers please do give them a follow, even if you don’t post any images of your finds to start with you can learn so much by looking at everyone else’s photos.  As I slowly began to get more confident in my identification I also gained confidence to post more images.  Even if you don’t know the name of a flower you have photographed someone will be there to help ID it for you, especially if you include #WildflowerID to your tweet.  I know as more of the yellow flowers come into bloom I will be asking for help as I find some of them so confusing; the difference between Common Ragwort and Hoary Ragwort, nope I still haven’t got my head around that one yet!  

Today on my walk I found…

Fox-and-cubs

Yarrow

Green Alkanet

Hedgerow Crane’s-bill

Black medick

Herb-Robert

Dog rose

Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil

Cleavers

Wood Avens

White Dead-nettle

Bush vetch

Red clover

Common vetch

Dandelion

Oxeye daisy

30 Days Wild 2019 – Day 01

It is the first day of 30 Days Wild and I didn’t have a plan for what to do!  I watched a pair of house sparrows collecting some nesting material from the moss and feathers we put out in the garden; when I went to get a camera to photograph them they didn’t come back! I was looking at the garden and realised there was a patch in the flowerbed that I could dig up… I decided I would complete Mission 2: Worm Detective of this years Gardenwatch by Springwatch.  I have really like that this years Springwatch has included a lot more information about our own back gardens and the smaller creatures that live around us.  I think it is a great way to get more people out in their garden / outdoor spaces and interacting with our surroundings.  I spend a lot of time in the garden and really like looking at all the creepy crawlies that live there.  They are so much more accessible than some of the bigger mammals we live with and a great way to interact with nature.  I have discovered once you start looking you can’t stop and then want to learn more about each new friend you find.

Mission 2: Worm Detective…

I collected together a trowel, a box, a couple of plant pots to use as containers, a 30cm ruler, 4 stones and pen & paper then headed off to dig a hole!

As I didn’t have any twigs to mark out the corners of my 30cm square I roughly marked it with a few stones and got digging!  What I hadn’t taken into consideration was the bed wasn’t flat so everything was at a bit of an angle! 

I’ll be honest I didn’t expect to find much as I was sorting through the soil, it was all so dry… I started to put worms in the flower pot but I after a few minutes thought it was far to warm to leave them sitting in the sun, so as I found them, I measured them and got them back into the flowerbed as quickly as I could so they didn’t dry out.  In total I found 15 worms varying in size from 1cm – 6cm.  

Along with the worms I also found 1 ant, 1 woodlouce and 3 centipede. 

I really enjoyed digging in the garden and looking a little more closely at what was living under the ground, it is something I plan to do again 🙂 

Rewilding the field!

Okay so the title of this blog is probably a tiny bit misleading… well… at the moment anyway!  As you know I spend a lot of time inspecting what is in the field and the garden next to the field.  I love the view through the garden gate into the ‘secret garden’ of the field beyond.  

As my knowledge has increased I have noticed this year how ecologically barren the field really is.  Yes the field margins look lush and green, but if you look closely there is very little diversity in the plant life.  So I have taken it upon myself to ‘rewild’ it a little.

Now the farmer that rents the field sprays it with what we assume are insecticides and herbicides, from what we can tell he uses direct spraying so hopefully it won’t destroy all of what I am trying to create.  I should add that the owner of the field has given me permission to work on a patch of the field to see how it goes.  The patch I have decided to use is just outside the garden fence.  There are a few of reasons for this A) easy access B) the farmer can’t cut it down before they harvest the crop as the combine can’t cut that close to the corner! and C) it is full of common nettles and cleavers. 

To start work I had to clear a path through the nettles and cleavers to be able to actually get out into the field.

I then began to clear the cleavers doing my best to leave as many nettles and cow parsley as I could; I did discover that although I thought there were lots of nettles, there wasn’t, it really was all cleavers.

Pulling the cleavers up revealed no life underneath them at all, it was just soil.  I did feel bad pulling up the greenery as it looked horrendous leaving bare soil; however I know, if all goes to plan, the results will be better for our pollinators than leaving it as it is. 

A few weeks ago I moved a prickly sow-thistle from the garden and put it out in the field.  I was pleased to see it survived its move and was even in flower, I was more pleased when a bee came along and had a look at it.  It dawned on me that the only obvious flowers in the field were the cow parsley.  I am hoping that as summer progresses I will see more of a variety appear but I don’t hold out a lot of hope. 

I thought I was going to clear a ‘good patch’ of field margin but when it came to it I cleared a little patch!  Partly this decision was down to the fact that everything I was pulling up had to fit in the garden waste bin!  It was already partly full and what I had removed would have filled it three fold!

However the little patch was enough for me to make a start, I planted out some teasels and cornflowers to see how they fared.  I decided five of each would do, as if they didn’t take to their new home I didn’t want to kill lots in one go! 

When I checked on them the next day they looked quite happy 🙂  I do plan on watching the field more closely this year to see what plants naturally occur, then maybe next year I can boost their numbers by growing more from seed!  I may need a bigger greenhouse!

In the next week or so I will be planting out more teasels, cornflowers, oxeye daisy, common fleabane and red campion and maybe even clearing some more space!     

My Patch – April 2019

April 3rd – This morning in the garden there were two robins, long-tailed tits and the starlings were clicking up on the roof.  

April 10th – some late afternoon sun brought out the bees and a 7-spot ladybird.  Unfortunately I didn’t get very clear photos of the bees so not sure which ones they were!  I still find them confusing.


April 11th – This evening I got a chance to take a short walk around the field.  The male fallow deer were located out in the centre of the field, I think they are starting to get used to me as they don’t react too much now.  I was hoping I would start to find some flowers in the field but its either too early or too many herbicides have been sprayed so they haven’t had a chance to develop yet.  I did find a lone lesser celandine.  In the garden there is a male goat willow tree, in the field down near next doors garden, is what I believe to be a female goat willow.  

The birds that nest around the house have been much more visible around their nest sites, the jackdaws are in the chimneys and the starlings are taking nesting material into the roof 🙂

There was a bee checking out holes in the garden wall this evening, it has taken me a while to figure out, but I have finally narrowed it down to being a hairy-footed flower bee.  The first one I have ever seen 🙂 

April 15th – this morning I found my first brimstone moth, just sat on the wall outside the front door!  

April 18th – Whilst tidying the raised bed I noticed all the small creatures starting to appear in the vegetation.  The first one I spotted was apion frumentarium, next up was a tiny dark bush-cricket (Pholidoptera griseoaptera) and then a clover mite.  My last discovery of the day was a phalangium opilio spider.  I had never seen any of them before so this evening I had to do some research into what they all were!

Now I seem to have missed the nesting season this year!  I don’t know how; has all just happened earlier this year? or have I just been occupied with  growing plants and missed it? today I saw a starling take food into his nest!  Tomorrow I aim to pay a little more attention and train my camera on the nest hole to see exactly what is going on.  

April 19th – The starlings are 100% feeding in the nests at the back of the house, I watched both parents visit one after the other.  They both had at least two items of food in their beaks.  

There were more 7-spot ladybirds in the garden this afternoon and an orange-tip butterfly landed on the garlic mustard 🙂

April 20th – today I was concentrating on concreting the patio, however I couldn’t miss the common frog that hopped out of a hole underneath the raised bed and off across the patio.  He had been disturb as I had put sand over the top of him as I was filling in a hole and I hadn’t seen him!  I moved him up next to the small pond so he could hide under the plants.  

April 21st – there was a moth on the window, a Lunar marbled brown (Drymonia ruficornis).  I got out in the field for a walk this morning.  I heard my first cuckoo of the year – it is so nice to know he has returned safely.  I didn’t notice a lot of other birds, I don’t know if it was because I seemed to be noticing the insects or they just didn’t seem to be about.  I did have a companion with me who does make more noise than me when walking so it could have been a factor!  I did hear a woodpecker drumming.  

Since I have been following #Wildflowerhour on Twitter my botanical skills have improved greatly.  It is nice to be able to identify my finds without now having to spend hours trying to figure out what they are!  I want to take note this year of what is growing in the field so that next year I might be able to add to the population by growing them from seed and planting them out.  Today I identified, ground-ivy, red dead-nettle, cuckooflower and garlic mustard in the copse.  I was pleased to see the amount of garlic mustard there was as I know in the copse it won’t be cut down when the crop is harvested, hopefully it also explains the orange-tips who were darting around close by.  I need to go for a wander amongst it to see what else is growing in there!  

The time I save not having to look up flowers is definitely spent on the insects and arachnids!  After a lot of work identifying (I hope correctly) I found; Helophilus pendulus, Cucumber spider, Corizus hyoscyami, nomada sp. unknown, Nursery Web Spider, notostira elongata, Eupeodes sp. unknown, Pied Shieldbug (Tritomegas bicolor) on host plant white dead-nettle, Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria), Flesh Fly (Sarcophaga carnaria), what I think is a pterostichus cupreus eating a harpalus affinis, Peacock butterfly and my first Dark-edged Bee-fly (Bombylius major) of the year!

When walking back up past the copse the fallow deer appeared in front of us.  They decided that is was safe enough to run out of the copse and into the field stopping a safe distance away.  I like these types of encounters 🙂

April 24th – I’m sure I saw a swallow this evening; I don’t think I was imagining it but it was only a fleeting glimpse.  I happened to take a photo of the garlic mustard and only noticed afterwards that there is a orange-tip egg on it 🙂 I hope we have some more.  It is nice to know that all I am trying to do with the garden is helping some of the garden visitors.   

April 25th – The starling chicks at the front of the house have started calling – across the garden and the neighbouring house I think there are now three starling nests with calling chicks. 

April 29th – The field was being sprayed when I got there this evening; I assume with pesticides. The male fallow deer who were resting in the middle of the field didn’t move until the machinery was two runs away from them. They ran off but then stopped short of the copse, they eventually disappeared.  The starlings are still calling and I heard the cuckoo again this evening 🙂

 

My Patch – A Garden update: April 2019

This month I have concentrated on trying to get the garden into a tidier/cleaner state for the planting out of the flowers when they are ready.  It has meant a lot of work so other aspects have suffered a little! 

April 1st – the basil has started to grow 🙂

April 2nd – as it is meant to be frosty for the next few nights I thought I would leave my cowslips and garlic mustard outside to ‘chill’.  They are meant to have a period of cold to start germination so I thought it can’t do them any harm as they don’t seem to be doing anything anyway! I tidied a little more of the glasshouse and found another five terracotta pots I will be able to use.  They will all need a bit of a clean, I just need to work out if I have any shorter plants which I can put in them; probably birdsfoot trefoil and sweet williams.

April 8th – tonight I potted on some of the sweet pea, sunflowers and borage.  I know I should have probably potted on the sweet peas earlier but I wasn’t sure where to pot them on too!  I knew I needed a deeper pot, I still have more that need rescuing from their small trays.  

Last year I removed a purple/red coloured steamed plant from the raised bed as it was in the way of the bird feeder!  I put it in a pot as no one knew what it was – thanks to @porridgebrain on Twitter who posted an image of her peonies I discovered what it was! It is still alive! I have removed all of ‘weeds’ from its pot and moved it to a sunnier spot – I plan to put it back into the raised bed but in a more suitable location.  

April 9th – This evening I decided I needed to take some images of the garden before I started to tidy/clean.  It does look a bit of a mess and its starting to make me stressed!  I know gardening isn’t meant to create stress it is meant to reduce it, but when there is so much to do it gets a bit much.  

I also potted on more of the borage and removed the ‘weeds’ from all the pots in the left garden.  The mint looks much better now I can actually see it is growing; I think it will need to be re potted this year.

April 10th – I finished potting on all of the borage today; I think I should have potted them on when they were a little smaller.  I have 73 plants in total.  I was going to sow some more though I think that will probably be more than enough for this year! 

April 11th – my common fleabane has started to sprout 🙂

I have only just thought about taking photos of my seedlings so I know what they look like in future years – I hope the flowers will seed themselves in the garden so next year I need to know what they look like so I know what is growing!

April 12th – So today I jet washed the left side of the garden’s patio; it only took 10 hours!!

April 15th – the mint has started to grow 😊  I have sown more rudbeckia as for some reason it hasn’t germinated.  

April 16th – sowed red campion, tall marigolds (I collected seed form the garden last year so I don’t know exactly what they are!) and perennial flax seed which I also collected from the garden.  

April 18th – painted the left fence, ‘weeded’ the raised bed and one of the love-in-the-mist has sprouted.

April 19th – was also a busy day, I moved the garlic mustard from growning in the right hand patio to the raised bed in the hope that it will survive, jet washed the patio, looked at repairing the garage guttering so a water butt can be fitted; we had to remove one of the branches from the hazel tree as it had caused the guttering to break.  I also potted on 62 cornflowers, potted on the rest of the sweet peas and put up a bee hotel 🙂

April 20th – I concreted 90% of the right hand patio – it took all day!

April 24th – Potted on 37 cornflowers and  33 teasel, the marigolds, red campion and the new batch of cornflowers and rudbeckia have sprouted.  I wasn’t expecting the perennial flax to germinate but it is doing quite well.

April 25th – Potted on 36 teasel and 21 sunflowers.

April 26th – Tonight I tweeted a photo of a tiny daffodil looking flower that is located in one of the window boxes.  @Mark_Couper replied to let me know they are daffodils; a variety called ‘new baby’. At least now I know what to do with them when they are relocated out of the window box, as at the moment they are surrounded by ‘weeds’ and very little compost!  

April 27th – today I visited a nursery sale with my Mum.  We went last year; this year I was going with a list of what I wanted to buy.  I managed to find only one plant on my list echinacea, I did also buy martin’s spurge as I thought it would look nice against the green of the fence and also add some foliage in the winter as I believe it is evergreen.   

April 29th – tonight I concreted where my potted plants are going to go so I will be able to start moving them about later in the week.  It will be nice to know some are planted up and are ready to just grow!  I have a few large pots that I assume had shrubs delivered in them, the pots have been kept for years so I have started to utilise them.  They aren’t the most attractive; black with handles on the them but I intend to hide them behind the more ‘attractive’ pots!  Tonight I put some borage in one of them.  I have probably made a mistake when putting 3 plants in one pot as I have read they can grow rather large, I think it might just be trial and error this year!  I also thought I probably needed to plant out the Martin’s spurge as their roots were coming out of the bottom of the pots.  I know they will expand and fill the pot; maybe when they do they can be separated into two pots.  By potting the plants out it meant I had some more small pots I could then use for potting on the remaining sunflowers 🙂 

Also throughout this month… the strawberries, field forget-me-not, garlic mustard, red campion, lilac and choisya ternata have all started to flower 🙂 

So far this year; total number of plants grown from seed and potted on…
99 cornflowers
73 borage
27 sunflowers
69 teasel 

My Patch – A Garden update: March 2019

With the days getting slightly longer I feel like I have started to achieve some small things with the garden this month.  Its starting to take shape a little bit…

March 1st – this afternoon a couple of the daffodils and one of the crocus looks like they are nearly ready to flower 🙂 Some of the others though are just starting to show through the soil.  At least I will have plants at different stages of flower for the bees.  The seeds I ordered from Emorsgate have arrived 🙂 

March 5th – I cleared some space in the glasshouse.  Its rather an abandon structure where some of the occupants of the house store items that are no longer of use rather than disposing of them! Its amazing how much space you can create when you organise useful things and recycle unwanted boxes! 

March 6th – one of the daffodils in the front garden is flowering.  

March 8th – there appears to be a lot more cuckoo pint in the garden this year, both in the raised bed and in the ‘woodland’ area. 

March 11th – Last summer there was no garden waste bin at the patch, it had been decided by the owners that items can just be thrown over the fence and into the field!  Some of the items did break down, others which were more woody didn’t.  I managed to convince them that it really isn’t the best idea throwing everything over the fence, although some things are sort of okay!  This evening while I still had some light, I filled the newly emptied garden waste bin with items that are still lingering on the other side of the fence!  There is still a lot to remove but at least now the bin is being emptied every two weeks everything that cannot be put in the garden compost can now be collected. 

March 13th – In the week I bought two packs of greenhouse racking/shelving to put my seed trays on, tonight I put together one of them.  Thankfully it fits on the table okay and I think the other one will fit alongside it once some more of the items located in the glasshouse are taken to the tip.  I managed to sow my cowslip and rudbeckia seeds before it got too dark.    

March 14th – this evening I sowed some more seeds: sweet marjoram, sweet basil, borage, sweet peas, wild teasel and sunflowers.  I still have more to sow!

March 18th – this evening I cut back a rose that was, well, a little out of control, I think it is a climbing rose but there was only one stem and it was about 10 foot long!  I’ve cut it back to a bud point and hope to do something with it to control it a little.  I had a little wander around the garden and have noticed two of these growing in the garden.  

At the moment I’m not sure what it is, I guess I will have to wait for the leaves to unfurl to try and find out.  

I also found these, which I think are glory of the snow, I’m not sure where they came from as I haven’t planted them but they look very pretty in the raised bed and they are welcome flowers when there is very little else flowering at the moment.  I managed to sow three more trays of seed; garlic mustard, birdsfoot trefoil and ox-eye daisy. 

March 21st – I have assembled the second set of racking for the glasshouse. Tonight both cornflowers and common fleabane were sown.  I have a horrible feeling the racking is going to fill up rather quickly!  

March 22nd – The borage is sprouting eight days after sowing! 🙂

March 25th – This evening in the glasshouse I have 51 borage, 2 oxeye daisy, 7 sunflower, 36 birdsfoot trefoil, 2 rudbeckia and 30 sweet pea 🙂 now all I have to do is not kill them! 

March 26th – today I also have 4 Marjarom which have come up.

March 27th – after spending some of yesterday evening making newspaper pots, this evening I have potted on 41 sweet williams, I have also sowed mint, Italian parsley, thyme and love-in-a-mist.  I have now run out of seed trays! 

March 28th – potted on another 23 sweet williams – somehow I need to create more space in the glasshouse, I hope having another tidy next week might clear part of one of the other sides.  I now have some teasel and cornflowers which have come up.  The sweet peas are now about 1 inch tall!  I’ve never grown anything but sunflowers from seeds before so I’m rather pleased with what I have managed to grow so far 🙂

March 30th – I decided to ask Twitter what my mystery plant is which is growing in the raised bed, TimM kindly replied and said its a buddleja.  I guess because it is smaller than the ones I was gifted I just didn’t recognise it.  I also didn’t think I would find them growing in the garden!  From having none last year, this year I now have five!  

My Patch – March 2019

March 6th – This evening I spotted a moth on the kitchen window just as I was about to go home.  I stepped outside to have a closer look, once the light had come on I realised there were about 6 moths flying around and 9 on the window.  I quickly went to grab my camera to get a picture as I had no idea what type it was.  I found something in my insect book that looked similar; a common Quaker so I went online to see if I could find more images to clarify.  It wasn’t the right moth but there were also images of a small Quaker which I was 99% sure it was.  I posted my image on Twitter and @MothIDUK kindly confirmed my ID was correct.

Small Quaker generally live in deciduous woodland and are on the wing from March to April.  They feed on sallow blossom, which explains why there were so many in the garden – the goat willow is currently covered in catkins with their green/yellow pollen 🙂  The larvae feed in early summer on deciduous trees including willow so I will be looking closely at the tree later in the year to see if we have any larvae.  

March 11th – When I got to the field this morning I was told there were brown hares in the field but I would need to look out of one of the upstairs windows to see them.  One was led down and the other ran across the field as I was watching them.  I love seeing the hares as they are so secretive it is very special to see them.  

March 13th – there were 9 fallow deer on the far side of the field tonight. 

March 14th – there were 25 fallow deer in the middle of the field tonight.  I do worry about them as the white ones really do make the herd stand out! 

March 20th – there was a pheasant in the garden under the bird feeder! I have a feeling he may become a regular visitor! 

March 21st – tonight I went out to listen for tawny’s but again there were none.  Whilst I was listening I was also looking; for cellar slugs.  The RHS is looking for people to submit their sightings of yellow cellar and green cellar slugs to their iRecord recording page.  They are looking to find out which garden features may influence where the slugs are located.  I found 18 green cellar slugs but no yellow.  The yellow cellar slugs are in decline so any sightings are really important.  I’m going to try and complete a search once a month, the slugs are nocturnal so make you have a fully charged torch before heading out for this survey! 

I heard a noise and thought it could be a fox over the other side of the fence, stepping up onto the raised bed a bat flew over my head and was illuminated by my torch light 🙂 I discovered the noise I thought I heard, it was in fact in the garden, I think there is a hedgehog rustling around in the leaves.  I will have to put the trail camera out next week to find out for sure.  

March 22nd – the pheasant was back again this morning; I managed to get a very bad photo of him on my phone.   

March 25th – I wanted to walk around the field this evening as it was such a lovely evening, however the farmer was fertilizing! I walked along the track towards the copse.  I wanted to see if any flowers were growing.  I found one lesser celandine and some leaves that indicated that there are others that may have already flowered.  There are some cuckoo-pint leaves and some leafy sections although at present I’m not sure what plants they are.  There will be lots common nettles again this year which will benefit the insects.  I don’t believe the copse is managed in anyway and I can only assume that the lack of varying vegetation is due to the deer who probably eat it.  There are tiny saplings growing, I’m not sure which trees they are so I need to have a closer look.     

March 27th – this morning the blue and great tits were not on the feeders but looking around the shed roof and the leaves of the newly sprouting roses for more natural food sources.  There is now a pile of twigs underneath the jackdaws regular nest site so I can only assume they are refurbishing their nest, especially seeing there is a twig sticking out of the entrance hole – its looks like they have got it well and truly stuck! The twigs that have fallen on the garden floor from the goat willow have been left for them to use if they wish. 

Tonight we put up two new nest boxes in the field near the house.  I am hoping we have some sparrows nest in them, but I would be happy with anyone using them to be honest.  I may have to spend some time sat in the field just watching the boxes to see if there is any activity. 

I put the trail camera out facing the wren/robin box on the side of the house, it was triggered, although I only had footage of the box with nobody entering or leaving it!  I’m guessing the trail camera won’t be much help at that nest!