Walton in the Wolds

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We have been very fortunate with our English summer up until now. We have had rain but it barely affected whatever we were doing on any particular day. Our location is on Six Hills Farm in Walton-on-the Wolds and as I write this I am looking out on saturated land that needs more sun and no more rain. This is our second day of heavy rain but it is forecast that clear skies will appear later. This is a beautiful renovated barn to stay in and one that we will be back to for this coming Christmas. It is a very good choice and the best accommodation in eleven weeks. We have set the ‘trail camera’ up but nothing seems to have come close to activate it. There are both Fallow and Muntjac deer in the vicinity, together with Fox, Badger and elegant Hares. They are on show daily but we have only seen one at a time. Buzzards have flown regularly and we know that there is Kestrel here as well. Yesterday morning I walked out and had a good sighting of a Mistle Thrush feeding on the weather beaten cornfield and then I had my treat of the day when a male Yellowhammer flew up and perched on top of the hedge. I watched it for several minutes and was thrilled by its bright yellow head and brown body albeit straggly in the rain. We disturbed two Tawny Owls the other evening but have not heard or seen them since. Apparently there are Barn Owlshere as well. I think that this winter is going to be very tough particularly for the small bird populations. Although there is plenty of good cover with all the hedgerows but the berries seem to have gone already if, they were there at all after this very wet summer. Sadly there are hardly any birds around the farm buildings and I surmise that there are no suitable nesting sites. I expected that there would be House Sparrows but not one was on view. In fact the last sparrow that we saw were Tree Sparrows at Rutland Water.