Well, what a year 2010 was.
Birds had to be the highlights. The Marsh Harriers which have nested in front of the house now for 4 years produced two youngsters and it was fabulous to watch them learning to fly. They stayed around the reed bed for about three weeks.
Then there was the Osprey. A number of guests saw this magnificent bird catching fish in the lake……We are keeping fingers crossed that it will return in 2011, perhaps this time with a mate !
We tend to take for granted our regular local birds, which others might think of as scarce – Bearded Tits, Reed Buntings, Sedge Warblers, Barn and Little Owls, Water Rails etc, and we musn’t forget the Bittern – we were fortunate this year to hear it “booming” from the house in May and then, at the height of the cold spell in December, we managed to get a really good look at one down the road at Leighton Moss RSPB Bird Reserve.
On to other local natural wonders, we were thrilled this year to see the new arrivals of the Lady’s Slipper Orchid, a joint effort by Natural England and Kew Gardens to try to re-introduce a sustainable population in Gait Barrows Nature Reserve ( which is immediately outside our garden fence ).
Our regular group of lepidopterists from the Upper Thames Valley had an excellent year, cataloguing everything they wanted to see, including Duke of Burgundies and High Browns. Maybe next time they will glimpse the Netted Carpet Moth……
Once again we had wonderful weather in May and June, and then 6 weeks in a white, crisp winter wonderland to finish off the year – it doesn’t get better than that !
May I take this opportunity to say a big “Thank you” to all our guests, the overwhelming majority of whom make it a pleasure to be of service, and to wish one and all a happy, successful and healthy 2011.