Archive for wildlife

Sunny spring walk at Otterhead Lakes

Today was a glorious Spring day with blue skies and brilliant sunshine.  We decided a walk at Otterhead Lakes was in order. The scenery is always beautiful. We walked down to the first lake and a pair of swans were gracefully gliding over the water.

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There was plenty of water rippling down the steps creating a waterfall.

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We carried on following the water’s path to the little bridge where we posed.

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And then further along the path to the second lake.

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On our return the swans had come up closer.

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Neil’s sister Carole was with us.

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After our most enjoyable walk we made our way to the Candlelight pub for a quick pre lunchtime drink.  The pub was busy with lunchtime diners and there was a great atmosphere.

If you want to come and see the local delights near Lodge House B&B, look us up at http://www.lodgehousebandbsomerset.co.uk

 

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Suppressing the weeds!

Whilst the soil here is very fertile and everything grows well, that includes the weeds.  We have been battling the weeds in the fruit cage area all Spring, pulling them up and putting down old carpet to act as weed suppressant sheet, and then spraying the grass with weedkiller until it looked like this below.

killing off the weeds and adding old carpet

Today we laid 100 metres of black suppressant sheet in the fruit cage area.  We cut round the raspberry canes and fruit bushes to cover the whole area, until we ran out of the black fabric.  Quickly went to Ebay and purchased another 100 metre roll so now have to wait for it to arrive before we can finish the job.

Laying the black weed suppressant sheet

A little toad came to join us in the task………….

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We love all little animals here, so he was welcome to join us. 

Why don’t toads, hens, cats eat weeds?  that would make our life easier.

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Ever heard of homing ducks?

Further to my blog of 15th June, lo and behold this pair of ducks have waddled their way all the way back to our neighbours where they came from.  This is about half a mile.  They would have had to cross a road (not that busy) and waddle all the way as their wings are clipped so they couldn’t fly.   All the searching for them, and no wonder we couldn’t find them if they were making their way home.  Who would have thought ducks would have a homing instinct, or did they just get lucky and head in the right direction? We’ll never know, but these ducks voted with their feet, they obviously didn’t want to live with us, so there we are.

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The lamentable tale of the ducks

Our neighbour was having problems with Mr Fox getting to his ducks and hens, so he decided to offload some of the ducks, and we agreed to take a mating pair.  They  arrived yesterday afternoon, and we set them down in the hen enclosure, with appropriate trays full of water and a little corn.  They wandered around the hen run, making sweet little cooing quacking noises to each other and we fell in love with them.  We made appropriate provision for them at night, and when dusk fell we tried to cajole them into it.  But they were having none of it, and they ran all around the enclosure and in hindsight we think they got spooked and  flew up about 2 feet and through the poultry net.  That was unforseen, that bid for freedom.

The ducks arrive

Before we could think about how to catch them, they had run, and they are quick, into the undergrowth between us and the farm below.  It’s quite a thicket and we couldn’t see where they had gone.  We went round to the farm and into the thicket that way, but to no avail.  By this time it was 10pm and dark, so we left it overnight, and thought we would have another go at getting them back in the morning.

9.30am this morning, another neighbour came over to help. She went into the undergrowth, saw them and shooed them out onto our land, but they were so quick that they just went back into the undergrowth again and wouldn’t come out.

This afternoon she brought over 2 more ducks in a cage hoping that their quacking would bring the original pair back out, but to no avail. And we couldn’t see them in the undergrowth where they were this morning, so they could have gone anywhere, maybe into the woods.

It is unlikely now that we will see them again.  In the thicket they had some protection from Mr Fox, but if they go into the woods, where there is water, they will be too open to preditors.

What a sad state of affairs.  Our 2 little ducks were only with us for 5 hours!  We will have to have a different arrangement of fencing if we get ducks again in the future, and that will take some sorting out, so I doubt it will be soon.

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