The most populous birds here are house sparrows, blue tits and great tits. We also have a few pairs of blackbirds and similar numbers of robins and wrens. The sparrow hawk is a frequent visitor helping to keep the house sparrow population under control. A kestrel roosts in the farmyard barn and so we occasionally see that.

In summer we usually have a couple of pairs of swallows, their main colony is in the adjacent farm buildings. At the end of summer there may be as many as 100 birds lining up on the power cables gathering for their migration. We used to have house martins, but have not seen any for several years.

Other visitors include: long-tailed tits, bullfinch, goldfinch, nuthatch, green woodpeckers, spotted woodpeckers and redwing. This spring we have a couple of pairs of mallard sharing the pond with our ducks and geese: they are desperate for food. Geese and heron fly over on their way to the lake on the farm.

We are not so very far away from the Somerset Levels so we do get flocks of starlings flying over; though not so impressive as their evening arrivals at roosts back on the Levels.

Of course, since we have free range chickens (and often young chicks) ther are crows and magpies. We rear our chicks in a kind of “Fort Knox” with chicken wire covering the pen. Even so, we do loose some young birds to the crows or magpies. We also loose older birds to the fox. It is the birds that insist on sitting on eggs in a flower border that are most vunerable. Most of our hens and three of the cocks roost about twenty foot up in a holly tree: even in the middle of winter with a howling gale or deep snow. they seem to prefer the holly tree to the chicken houses.

We often hear tawny owls: one likes to roost in our venerable ash tree. I have had one sighting of a barn owl and have also heard a little owl.