Last summer, when we built the new log shed at the rear of the cottage, we expected that it would soon be colonised by the local wildlife. With it's lean-to roof and ventilated ends, it's not hard to see how attractive it is. After all, if you lived on a grouse moor, lashed by rain & wind, shrouded in mist & where snow lingers longer than in the valleys, you'd probably always be looking for somewhere sheltered and safe from harm.
We expected the first colonisers to be either bats - since they are frequently seen whirling about the sky here at dusk, or owls - since we have all five British varieties living along the edge of The Roaches.
Instead, sitting atop the vent pipe, in a beautifully crafted but tiny nest, we have Swallows!
Yes, I know the photo just looks like a sort of fluffy ball - but look again closely and count the little yellow beaks of the chicks.....
Yes, there are 4 of them, all squashed in like so many sardines in a tin!
In just a few weeks time, they'll fledge and, soon after, commence the perilous journey to Africa.
I wonder how may of our little family will survive to return here next spring?