Springtime is here! After a weekend of warm weather, buds are bursting into life, leaves are unfurling and the cacophony of birdsong in the Beefayre garden is so welcome after the endless months of dormancy. The garden buzzed today when I had a walk to seek out a few bees with my camera. From now until mid September, our grounds will be a-buzz with an array of different bumble, solitary and honey bees, all seeking out their different foraging opportunities and nesting habitats. Summer is only around the corner and synonymous with the buzzing of bees, today I can feel the warmth and sunshine working its magic for what we will hear very soon!
To call it a garden here at Beefayre HQ is perhaps not the correct term; we have just under 6 acres, managed and cared for as a nature reserve. Work is currently under way to encourage more plant species to grow this Spring, mainly to keep the appetites of our bees and other pollinators happy! Comfrey, Borage, Lavender and recently Vipers Bugloss have been planted and hopefully will grow before the rescued residents can get to them!
There is an area fenced off around the main house to keep the rescue Swans at bay, they have a lake and a pond to swim on but it never seems to be enough. Without the perimeter, the office gets regular tap-tapping’s on the window for extra food!
The foster mum to all of the ducks that live here is the Canada goose in the picture! They came from the local wildlife refuge for release, but they have all stayed and are now part of the community.
We are fortunate in having breeding Tree Sparrows, a colony of around 24 house sparrows, two pairs of Reed Buntings, Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Coal Tits, many Moorhens, three pairs of Starlings (a new breeding addition last year), Song Thrush, Yellowhammer and of course our Swans and Greylags.We hand-reared an abandoned baby Greylag 5 years ago and he has returned every year since his release; this time with a lady wife and no Canada geese to chase him off as in previous years!
Finally, I’ve just discovered a female Mallard on a large clutch of eggs directly outside my studio door! They are due to hatch this week and hopefully I’ll have some pictures to show you/