We travelled down on Saturday morning and back on Sunday evening, so not a lot of time to do anything other than catch up with family. The house is set in a very rural village, Guineaford - c4 miles north of Barnstaple and only a few miles inland from Woolacombe. The house has a very big garden with mature trees, a running stream and plenty of mosses and lichens growing on old walls and tree stumps. The garden backs onto grazing fields. The only down side is that the stream is in the bottom of a valley and it can be a few degrees cooler than surrounding areas overnight. I happened to have a couple of moth traps in the car - how on earth did they get there, seems a shame not to make use of them now we're here ..
I'll update on that later though, first a few varied images of other wildlife that frequents the garden. The amphibians and molluscs were caught with flash after dark, everything else in the daytime.
There are loads of Common Toads in the garden. I found several emerging from daytime hidy-holes in dry stone walls.
More unexpected was a Smooth Newt doing the same. When I first saw it, there was a small twig obscuring it. After I moved this the newt became mobile and soon disappeared back down the hole it came out of.
There had been a bit of rain in the previous days, so molluscs were abundant.
Great Grey Slug
As ever, Ravens were almost constantly either in ear shot or heading over head. Goods numbers of Swallows in the village, some of which bred in the inlaws wood shed. I also noted a couple of Blackcaps. Most obvious though was the House Martins still feeding young in the nest.
The garden is full of flowers which are constantly alive with insects. I noticed that there were a couple of different wasp species alongside Common, which I think are:
Amongst the wilder plants in the garden, there were numerous fruiting spikes of Lords and Ladies - just the thing for a garden frequented by children .....