I went down to let the chickens out early yesterday morning and was greeted by the sight of a baby deer running across the neighbouring field. The great spotted woodpecker is a regular visitor these days. Two woodpeckers recently had a fight - mother and offspring perhaps?
We are now getting regular visits from a baby Great Spotted Woodpecker. It tends to feed for quite some time before flying back to the safety of the trees at the other side of the croft. you can tell it's a juvenile because it has a patch of red at the front of the head. This time I managed to take about 8 photos before it disappeared!
These beautiful birds were captured on our doorstep recently. In addition to the swallow, one of many swallow nesting in the outbuildings, this bull finch was seen on Coal Pit Lane, which is just at the bottom of Howgill Lane and now forms a section of the Pennine Bridleway.
Goldfinches have been increasingly regular visitors to our bird table this last week. We have just sited 4 new bird boxes in the hope of attracting more birds this year.
This Great Spotted Woodpecker has been a regular visitor to our bird table throughout February. Jan also spotted a White Stork a couple of weeks ago - no photo unfortunately.
While helping to prepare breakfast for our guests yesterday morning I looked out at our bird table and was delighted to see a Great Spotted Woodpecker. I called out to Jan, but in doing so merely managed to scare it off - or maybe my appearance alone at the kitchen window was enough to do the scaring. Jan said that GSWs are quite common. I've only ever seen a Green Woodpecker on our table before. Could anyone tell me which is the more common of the two?
After previously buying in all our preserves for the breakfast table, Jan decided a couple of years back to start making her own jams and marmalades. We've tried out quite a selection on our guests, including a beautifully tart wild plum jam made from produce grown in the local hedgerows. After taking stock of what we've used we've discovered that the most popular jam this summer was damson, so if you know of any going to waste year after year please let us know. Jan also makes her own chutneys using seasonal fruit and vegetables, and now has approaching 20 different varieties.
We had a couple staying with us recently who drove through the Trough to get to us. Towards the top of Waddington Fell they saw no fewer than 5 hen harriers! Needless to say it made their day.
Recent bird sightings mentioned by our guests include a whimbrel, a couple of mergansers, oystercatchers and sand martins. Just the other night I and 2 of our visitors enjoyed watching a pair of bats racing past just above our heads. You are nearly always guaranteed to see them as dusk falls - very entertaining.
This email was sent to us by a member of the Manx Arms Ramblers, 8 of whom stayed at Foxhill Barn recently while walking the Ribble Way. They were obviously delighted with their wildlife sightings.
Hello Peter & Janet,
As promised, a note to say thank you for a great nights stay and for going that extra step to make our walk enjoyable.
The rest of the walk went well with a much better amount of signposts to help us along. The weather stayed with us for the rest of the trip and we managed to complete the whole walk for Sunday afternoon.
We were lucky enough to see three deer crossing the river , in the location you described as being detoured due to land dispute. This was really a treat we did not think could be bettered until we spotted otters a few miles out of Preston.
Altogether a great trip.
All the best Paul and the Manx Ramblers
Two of our guests who stayed last night went for a walk up "Weets", which is the closest of Lancashire's 3 peaks to Foxhill Barn and joins the Pendle Way up to its summit. They told us how impressive the views are, and were delighted to see a pair of plover flying around close by.
Lots of beautiful primroses are now in full bloom near Foxhill Barn. You can find them by following one of the OS footpaths leading to Bracewell.
Jan & I were coming back from Clitheroe last Sunday evening when we saw a badger cross the road right in front of us. It was between Downham and Rimington, just after we'd climbed out of the dip at Twizzles Bridge. The only other time we've seen badgers round here is a couple of years ago when we saw 3 of them running up Howgill, just past Howgill Farm. They ran in front of the car for several yards before slinking off through a gap in the hedge - a truly amazing sight.
I went for a walk this morning to take in the full splendour of the stunning panorama you can see when you look North from Foxhill; Ingleborough and Pen-y-ghent still wearing their snowy caps, Whernside only revealing itself from a higher vantage point when the light catches it at just the right angle, allowing you to distinguish between normally blurred horizons. My photo, taken from our yard this morning, really doesn't do this magnificent view justice.
These beautiful views of Pendle are the ones that greet us when we open our front door. Bonny, our pony, is always to be found nonchalantly grazing in the foreground.
Jan & Pete would like to wish you all a happy New Year. And what a start to 2010 weatherwise! These are just a couple of the many wonderful scenes we woke up to this morning.
Not many fungi as yet, probably because it's been relatively dry. The next few weeks should be a good time for fungi foraging, especially because our local lanes have a good selection of dead wood, providing the perfect conditions.