Friday 26 October 2018

Night noises

Spice, our Golden Retriever, unusually started to bark about 3 am last night. I thought I had better go and check in case it was an intruder so that I could give them short shrift. Luckily for them there was no one around, so there was no need to deploy a kung fu dragon's claw strike (as demonstrated on You Tube). 

Anyhow, as I waited in the still of the night while Spice quietly wondered around to find the best place to pee, it was interesting to hear the various animal noises in just the ten minutes I was standing in the pitch darkness. A Tawney owl was calling with the familiar twit twoo. I hear them virtually every evening at dusk coming from a small wooded area across the road. The British Trust for Ornithology is currently carrying out a survey of Tawney owls and are inviting people to take part if they hear any. 

More concerning was the regular bark of a fox. Our poultry are shut up each day as soon as they all go in when it begins to get dark. Clearly, vigilance needs to be maintained.

Every now and then a pheasant let out a screech. This is a common sound here as they nest in the tree-lined boundary to our holding.

In what was otherwise silence in the dead of night, there seemed to be a lot still going on.


  1. There is no sign of the Barn Owl that roosted in the wood shed all last winter. Hope it returns. There's pheasants everywhere at the moment as they've been released ready for the shoots - I seem to be slowing down for them wherever I go on the back roads

    1. Yes, they don’t have much road sense do they.

  2. We get a lot of similar noises. The foxes can be very noisy and fortunately our hens are all safely put to bed. We get a variety of owls twit twooing and screeching. The collie dog gets very cross and leaps at her gate if the badger comes bumbling by. We can hear him scrambling about through our bedroom window.

    1. Spice doesn’t take much notice of the animal noises around her. I’ve not seen signs of badgers in the immediate vicinity here.

  3. Hi Philip,

    Just a quick question - off topic ...

    I read your blog entitled: "Bringing home the bacon" and you mentioned something about 'customers'.

    Are you actively selling your produce as a business locally?

    I'd be interested to find out.


    - from Smallholdings For Sale

  4. We are not running a smallholding business, Cole. 'Customers' (you would have seen in inverted comas) are friends and family who help absorb some of our surplus. Our focus is on self-provisioning.