At long last the drought has broken with 16mm (0.6 in) over the last two days with the volcanic ash and pollen dust washed from the greenhouse roof.
We have had at least three families of robins raised in the garden this spring, one perched betweek two trays of young fern plants awaiting (delayed) planting and another in the top of a sack containing used flower pots where a 1 litre pot was on its side giving an effective roof to the nest. The newly cultivated soil for sowing the vegetable seeds in the new kitchen garden gave up many tasty morsels to be taken to the young chicks.
In mid April we had a visit from a Tree Creeper visiting an old oak tree at the bottom of the garden and after exploring each tree it flew onto the next announcing its arrival with a shrill call before setting to work finding insects in the deep crevices of the bark.
The bird feeders have been well used and in the drought bowls of water have been regularly replenished. A Nut Hatch has been a frequent visitor plus many types of tits and finches as well as robins and sparrows. A couple of ducks tried to gain access to the small garden pond but we have had to discourage them with wire netting in order to protect the young tadpoles as we lost five members of our frog population in last winter's freeze. A week ago two young frogs were found hopping around when we cleared up the yard so they were safely transferred to the pond in the heatwave.
The newly planted raised alpine bed made of stone is proving an attraction for small birds looking for insects in the stone crevices and yesterday I saw a sparrow collecting strands of hair from our dog that were lodged in the wall, presumably for a new nest.
Recent plantings have included old pieces of old decaying timber in order to encourage beetles and other wood eating insects.