Here are three of the rarer visitors to our garden, which borders New Forest heathland and is not far from the woods.
One day last week, I looked out of the kitchen window to see this young grey heron ducking his head as he strode underneath a washing line full of drying sheets and towels. He then stalked across the grass on his long legs and disappeared. Later, I found him perching on a neighbour`s gate in the lane.
This heron has apparently found our neighbour`s fish pond, so they are not so pleased to see him.
Another view from the kitchen window. A Greater Spotted Woodpecker was hammering at the bark of a young Rain Forest Pansy tree growing in a border. The tree has several dead branches this spring and the bark wounds made by both woodpeckers and cat claws will not be helping. We need to find it a bark protecting sleeve before more damage is done. Even so, it was thrilling to watch this beautiful woodpecker at such close range.
On Sunday, a hot day of bright sunshine, this slow worm was basking on the stone floor in the doorway to the greenhouse. When he was disturbed, he tried to escape into a hole at the side of the inner brick wall, but this must have been a dead end as he turned round and came back out again. As he was vulnerable to predation by birds where he was, we coaxed him into an empty seed tray and carried him to safety in the wild area at the side of the greenhouse. A place where we have seen slow worms in the past.
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