We have had an abundance of birdlife around the Estate so far this January and it has been beautiful to see. There has been a wide variety of birds spotted from buzzards to tree creepers. We have loved seeing the pale silhouette of the barn owl swoop about the Parklands, and it has even been around during daylight hours.
The Barn Owl swooping past the Hall…
…and the family of swans on the lake.
The lake in the Parklands has become home to a family of swans, and their cygnets must be getting towards 6 months old now. The cygnets are often chased away by their parents at this point to help them become self-sufficient. Swans typically mate when they are around four years of age and they can lay a large number of eggs, sometimes up to 10. Newly hatched cygnets are susceptible to predators, such as foxes, herons, magpies and even large fish such as perch or pike. We hope our little family will stay together a while longer as their grace and elegance make them a delight to watch.
The swans with the growing cygnets
The white pheasant on the Blue Stone Heath Road
There has been another amazing sight around the area – a white pheasant on the Blue Stone Heath Road. There have now been three sightings of this unusual variety of pheasant and we are intrigued to know how rare they are.
The fast flowing waters of the stream
The hoar frost making things glistening white
The weather has continued to have an impact on the Hall grounds and Parklands. The recent wet weather has kept us very busy with leaks having to be repaired. The courtyard has also become extremely muddy and it floods occasionally so needs to be pumped out. The stream waters are also running fuller and faster after the rain. Recently, strong winds have taken down more trees and branches, and occasionally, the ice has remained on the surfaces all day without thawing. At least we have now passed the Winter Solstice, so the days are getting longer and Spring is just around the corner!