I need to apologize to those of you who have been waiting for more before-and-after photos of the house, pretty shots of the utterly charming surrounding villages, etc. They are coming, I swear. But I’m going through a city kid’s “wow, countryside” phase. I’ll get over it, probably pretty soon.
Right now I’m enjoying my first extended — okay, two weeks, but for me, that’s long — stay in the house in good weather without contractors or emergencies. It’s great fun. No wonder I bought this place.
This is the owl that got into a barking match with Jacques the other day. I remember being surprised that he stood his ground, rather than fly off home. I wondered whether he was home. Now I think he probably is.
The Barn Owl Trust tells me my new resident is a Little Owl and is diurnal. He probably has a mate, not that I would be able to tell them apart. For all I know, he actually lives in one of my barns. If he chased out the pigeons, more power to him. Long term, my plan is to bird-proof the barns, so I have to figure out where to encourage him to move. I’m afraid I bird-proofed myself out of the swifts that nested here last year. I thought they would nest under the eaves, like the swallows in California, but no. Clearly more research is in order.
I had been thinking I would need to build owl houses, then hope for the best. I am delighted to see that this is not so. However, when I saw a bat house in the local garden center, I snatched it up. Here is Jacques, disapproving of the bat house.
To him they are all just little beasts, invading his turf. To me, they are all vermin catchers and, as such, to be encouraged. So the Bat Conservation Trust and Habitat for Bats are going to help me get those mosquito eaters in here. It can’t happen too soon.