After a good few weeks of sunshine and no rain, the landscape as seen from Layside has transformed from green to brown! The fields have now been cut and the grass made into hay bales for winter livestock fodder – much excitement felt by Eddie who has enjoyed watching the tractors at work – and we are now able to see the hares grazing again each evening. Wildlife seems to be flourishing in the warm weather too. Our second brood of swallows have just fledged and there are always voles to be seen running in and out of the dry stone walls – the tawny owls are clearly taking advantage, and can be heard close by through the night. It is a fantastic time of year with the nights never getting totally dark, but always something to see or hear!

 

Not just a good read (The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith/J K Rowling), but a good listen too. We have heard a cuckoo nearby consistently over the past few days, and as per the well-known rhyme, May is the time to listen for the call. A bird to be admired, the cuckoo has been in decline in Britain over the past 20 years, possibly due to declining host birds, and due to dangers faced in migration. This is the second year in a row that we have heard a cuckoo close by – last year we even managed to capture a photo of this young bird resting on our front wall at Layside. We hope for another successful breeding season before the long and perilous return to Africa.

The cuckoo comes in April
She sings her song in May
In June she changes her tune
In July she prepares to fly
In August go she must.