We have taken to leaving our curtains drawn back after it gets dark, because over the last few nights we have had an exciting visitor.
You may remember that some time ago I spoke of a tawny owl visiting the bird table just as it was getting dark, and sitting there for a while. Well, now we have a pair of tawnies and each night they come to the telegraph pole quite close to our back window. The male sits atop the pole and the female usually comes a short while after and sits on the actual telephone line. Last night, as we sat watching them, they actually mated.
They presumably have a nest quite near (tawny owls usually nest in holes in trees and there are plenty of old trees around). There are plenty of nesting birds around but somehow this pair are quite special.
There are chaffinches nesting in the fir tree in the front garden, and also there are hedge sparrows in the clematis along the wall. Tree sparrows have taken over the bird box on the Scots Pine, as they usually do and at least two blackbirds are nesting in the privet hedge. The house martins are back and are busy reinforcing their last year's nests under the North-facing eaves and every barn has its quota of swallows - including the garage. We are now having to leave the car out until Autumn because the garage swallows make such a mess of it.
As dusk falls the air is full of bird song - particularly that of the blackbird. What an exciting time of year it is.