My first excitement was to discover that another family of swallows were on their way in our stable and in yet another nest - an old one that had been there since we arrived.... five little babies hatched and have been gradually getting bigger and bigger until a couple of days ago noticed with horror that the nest had started to come away from the beam - luckily the ceiling isn't too high so there had to be a plan of action... I'd had to replace my lawnmower recently and had kept the large box which has been such a godsend... I placed this under the nest on top of my wheelbarrow so that if the dreaded fall of the nest happened I fathomed it wouldn't have too far to fall - about 2m perhaps? Anyway... came back in the evening to check on things and the whole nest had come away and only three of the babies had landed in the box - I found one cowering under my mower and the other had managed to fall in between the box and the wheelbarrow so with a gloved hand so as not to put human scent on the babies placed the two escapees with the others! With our two cats around I couldn't leave the box so low down and it's been placed up as high as I could manage with one of the ends cut out so the parents could access them okay. My biggest fear was that the parents would abandon them as they were no longer in the nest but it was a huge relief to see them going in and out and they're still feeding them - not sure how long they have till they fledge another week at a guess but will keep you posted... so huge relief all round on that one!
Then if that drama wasn't enough I discovered we had a nest of 3 baby hedgehogs in the garden too - they have been such a delight to watch out on the evening rambles with Mum and in all the recent warm weather have been snoozing out of the nest as my guess it was just too warm in there - they have now since left the nest and dispersed but can be seen at odd moments wandering the woodland which is just wonderful. I did manage these pictures in the nest but they're not that clear -
Then this one is showing the tummy and paw of one and the body of another - the babies at this stage no bigger than the size of a large human fist!
The photos at the top of this post are the female off on one of her evening hunting expeditions!
Once I've photos of the swallows I'll post them separately...