Swallows 2022

Mrs LS saw a hedgehog for several nights running in the garden last week. She's started putting some suitable food out, which is all disappearing we're finding a lot of their poop as well. Last night there were 3 out there shuffling around. We've noticed a few more squat ones on the roads. I think that it's probably because we're in a badger culling area.
Saved one this morning from bashing its head on the office window


Livestock Farmer
The North
Our first swallow arrived about a week ago. We always leave a muddy puddle in our farmyard to help them make their nests and have a drink, especially during the dry weather we have had here lately.
Good idea, thinking of making some flat areas off perlins so it’s easier for them to nest too :unsure:


Livestock Farmer
I either get huge flocks of jackdaws in the cow field or hundreds of gulls in a field that the sheep have just been moved from, they must be after the flies as the dung is starting to pile up what with having no rain to wash it in.
With the jackdaws come crows, the cows with newborn calves really don't like the crows, they bellow and chase them away, which must be quite exhausting, as the crows are quite persistent when approaching a calf. Luckily the crows don't like angry cows and soon bugger off.
I'm beginning to despair of seeing them this year , it's getting a bit late now . I'm sad about that , we've had them for years now , and I really look forward to seeing them about . However on the plus side , I'm told we have many broods of peewit chicks on a piece of land next to a housing estate . Deer down there too . We have plenty of pheasant , a few partridge , pied wagtails ( I like to watch them darting about the yard in search of food . , )just a few wrens nesting in a dry wall , robins , blackbirds , a few woodies , TOO many jackdaws and a few feral pigeons . Very few sparrows , not too many magpies . We used to have a lot of skylarks too , but they seem to have forsaken us - mind you , the golfers , next door taking a lot more care of their "rough" and fairways hasn't helped them . Remarkably , we have a few cats that visit - one or two daily in fact . Strangely they don't seem to bother with the birds .
I quite forgot yesterday , I also have a breeding pair/ trio of peafowl that have adopted my place as home . The peacock is regularly about , but I think the hens are perhaps sitting now . They actually belong to somebody in the big house down the lane (flats now ) but they are always here . They seem to feed on potatoes squashed by the telehandler tyres , and bits of waste from the troughs . I don't mind them at all , they aren't noisy . But they persist in perching on the (highly polished ) roof of a car owned by my car-proud neighbour. I have to say they do make a mess , they do a dump as big as a big dog sized dump , but worse they scratch his paintwork . It does his head in and he keeps a big stick behind his door , which he comes out waving most angrily , and using quite blue language . It doesn't seem to really bother them though , they fly away to a safe place and then carry on living as usual . On balance I think I like them .
We used to have swallows nesting in nearly all the outbuildings here, my late father used to take great delight in seeing them come in the spring, always noting the date on his calander.
This year they came early last week, but only one pair 🙁, and none have followed either. Nice to see them flying above the cows in the collecting yard at milking time though.

glow worm

Starting to get concerned. One solitary House Martin over a week ago and none seen since. Crashed here last year from 14+ nests in 2020 to only one in 2021. Swallows bad as well. One pair where there should normally be 6. ChiffChaff, Blackcap, Willow Warbler all heard in usual locations nr farm buildings earlier but quiet now for over a week. Always have one Thrush which is a delight to listen to in the garden every Spring .. Blackbirds admit defeat when he's around and go into a silent sulk as they just can't compete .. but not heard so far this year. I was delighted to have a Treeceeeper nesting close by last year only for the wretched tree to blow down in a big gale last winter. Sods law! I hope they found another crack to nest in but not heard them.
Well, good news at last . It's been a glorious day here today , and I was sitting out on the old milk stand , and was quite surprised and VERY pleased to see two pairs busily swooping about and looking as though they were making up for lost time . making the odd dive to a mud puddle in the yard too , so it looks as if I was a bit premature in thinking they wouldn't arrive .

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Man fined £300 for bonfire-related waste offences

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Written by William Kellett from Agriland

A man has pleaded guilty at Newtownards Magistrates’ Court to waste offences relating to a bonfire next to the electrical sub-station on the Circular Road in Newtownards, Co. Down.

Gareth Gill (51) of Abbot’s Walk, Newtownards pleaded guilty to two charges under the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, for which he was fined £150 each and ordered to pay a £15 offender’s levy

On June 25, 2018, PSNI officers went to Gill’s yard, where they found a large amount of waste consisting of scrap wood, pallets, carpet and underlay.

Discussion with Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) officers confirmed the site...