- Juvenile Fire Salamander
We’ve all been horrendously busy during the last few weeks as Spring is Springing like nobody’s business and we’ve been choc-a-bloc with Nature enthusiasts. I’m out guiding most days, so when the forecast last night said rain it was with a sigh of relief that we looked forward to a small lie-in, but it wasn’t to be …
A huge thunderstorm broke over our heads in the middle of the night and I was up and down the stairs protecting our electricity - most of the time splashing about with a tatty old umbrella and an equally tatty hat and dressing gown!
I finally got back to sleep again in the wee hours, only to be woken by an excited Flora at half past six gabbling on excitedly about something or other, and my excitement matched hers as she told me about the Fire Salamander she’d just found outside.
Rushing downstairs again we found him where she’d left him. They don’t wander far - nor too fast either, though this one was quicker than most as it was only young - and they’re territorial so it’s a real bonus to have them around here. They love this warm, wet weather and come out on nights like the one we’d just had, so it was a real silver lining to all that lost sleep.
- Death’s Head Hawkmoth
Contrary to the forecast it turned into a beautiful day as well AND we found a Death’s Head Hawkmoth.
These moths are huge and love honey, regularly raiding bee-hives; we have a few of these here at the Quinta as you may know - it’s where our delicious honey comes from - but this moth had been attracted to a hive in the roof of one of the staff rooms and become trapped inside. We took some photos and let him out and he’s been resting on one of the poles on the terrace all day, getting ready for the night’s activities …
- Dartford Warbler
It was great to spend a day at home, the first in quite a while, and to take a little wander around the “home patch” too; we were even lucky enough to come across this Dartford Warbler who’s got a nest in some scrub in the garden; what bliss!