Well sorry it has been so long since I wrote a blog. We have been so busy here at our self catering cottages and the summer seems to have come and gone. The Autumn seems to have come upon us fast in Pembrokeshire and we have had so much wind and some rough seas, which is unusual for September when it is normally calm and the weather is warm. It has been disappointing weather for the guests in our self catering cottages here in Amroth, Pembrokeshire but it doesn’t seem to have stopped people getting out and enjoying the wonderful scenery and beaches.
I have been lucky enough to enjoy some great nature walks and wildlife events with the National Trust in Colby Gardens and the National Park this summer. The highlight was probably a Bat Walk at Carew Castle with the National Park . We were given a short talk about the type of Bats we might see and then a registered Bat handler, who was holidaying in the area, showed us a bat she was caring for that had been injured, and because she was still hand feeding it, she had had to bring it on holiday with her!!!. Although we obviously could not handle the creature, we were able to see it at close quarters. It was a tiny Pipistrelle Bat. After that we were all given Bat Detectors and told what sounds to listen for. The Pipistrelle Bat sounds like the slap of a wet flannel (they really do), whereas the Daubenton’s Bat sounds like a machine gun.
We set off on our walk down to Carew Tidal Mill past the Castle and found numerous Pipistrelle Bats and then at the Mill the Daubenton’s Bats came out from under the walls, where they roost, and skimmed across the Mill pond. I was so excited when the machine gun sound ran through my detector. We then walked back towards the Castle but it had now started to rain heavily and so the Greater Horsehoe Bats, that have a big roost in the Castle, refused to come out in the rain. Can’t blame them as by now we were all soaking wet!!! It was a great evening and well worth experiencing if there are any events of this type in your area or if you holiday in Pembrokeshire next year.
I also attended a “Walk with Hawks” at Colby Gardens and it was wonderful to see the Harris Hawks up close and have them land on your hand and then climb onto your head!! We were given a lot of information about the hawks, and everyone enjoyed the event which was well supported. There was also A “Twilight Walk” at Colby Gardens with the National Trust, where we saw a Buzzard’s nest high in the trees and heard the Buzzard and it’s young calling to each other. (This is a sound we frequently hear from Amroth Cottages, as we live above the Colby valley). We also scattered a lot of peanuts for the Badgers, that have a huge set in the woods. The Trust feed them, so that they stay on their land and don’t stray far, as this keeps in check the spread of any disease. It was such fun for the children hiding the nuts under stones for the badgers to sniff out. We also passed the tree where a roost of Noctule Bats have raised their young this year.
An Otter has been seen in the stream at Colby and although I have seen evidence of them on the rocks, I still am hoping I will see one when I walk every morning.
Sadly a huge flock of Manx Shearwaters were downed in the strong winds as they left Skomer Island for South America, but the majority were rescued off Newgale, Pembrokeshire and taken to West Hatch Rescue Centre in Somerset where they will be nursed until they are strong enough to be released.
There have been lots of seals born this year and because several were born early they should have had a good start before the bad weather but I know some of the more recent young have not survived, which is really sad.
News from the Farm
Our hedges are now full of Blackberries, Sloes, Hawthorn berries and so many Holly berries, I do hope this is not the sign of another hard winter!! All the Damsons are now gone either having been picked by me for jam and chutney or eaten by the birds. We had an enormous crop this year, most of which I’ve frozen to make produce later.
The veg. patch produced a huge crop of peas and broad beans but the runner beans suffered from the poor summer and high winds. However the carrots and beetroot have again been great and there is nothing like growing and picking your own.
Danny and Sam, our rescue dogs continue to keep me fit with our walks/runs in the woods each morning. The cats, Boots, Charlie and Hannah are all well and have enjoyed the attention from our guests this summer as has Jim, our old pony who has really loved the polos, carrots and apples and attention he has received. Thank you to all the guests and children who have made him happy, he misses you and hopes to see you again next year.
Dick and Harry, the goats are fine and the sheep are well. I’m still hoping to get some more hens but the houses are being cleaned and rested for a while to get rid of pests.
Must away as off to help at the local Youth Club in Amroth tonight
Regards to you all and thanks for all the comments
Ann Green (Amroth Cottages)