Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Three Hoglets!

Welcome back. This morning there are three hoglets outside the nest. They're really gorgeous, small and plump, lots of spikes and their eyes closed. They're all tucked up in the nest with Mrs.Tiggywinkle tonight.
Today a large dragonfly came into the conservatory. We don't know much about dragonflies. Does anyone know what kind this is? We'd like to know.
The weather has again been really nice today, but the pollen count must be very high, as the boys are suffering from their hayfever badly tonight.
We received a lovely email from Jan Whittington, who has the baby bat which Ross rescued from school, she says, "My goodness how she has grown! She has got very used to me handling her and although she shouts at me when I first pick her up, she settles very quickly and eats like there is no tomorrow! She does get m/w juice all over the place, so when we have finished feeding (about 3 times a day) I wet a tissue and wash her face. She seems to enjoy this pampering and finishes up looking really good. I found she had difficulty cleaning round the places her tongue wouldn't reach!She stretches her wings every day so I shall have to start flying her soon so she gets the proper exercise. I have just (yesterday) picked up another baby just like she was and am feeding that one every 3 hours. It just has goats milk at the moment. It looks like a Whiskered too but it is difficult to be sure, it's so small. If it is, then I shall introduce them when they are both weaned properly and they can share their home and talk to each other!"
More tales tomorrow. Thank you for reading.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Mrs.Tiggywinkle's Baby

Hello everyone. Apologies for not writing our blog for a few days, but we have been visiting Nanny Braund daily at Exeter Hospital, so we have got rather behind, but the good news is that she has come home, back to Walland Farm, with us all today.

Great news, on Friday Mrs.Tigglywinkle, one of our four hedgehogs, started to make a nest. Rossi and Roy moved her from the Barn Owl aviary into an area on her own and on Saturday and Sunday we heard or saw nothing of her. This morning I went to open the Mini Zoo door and to my great excitement, there just outside the nesting box was a hoglet, really tiny, eyes closed, just wandering around. With some hay, we carefully picked up the hoglet and put it back in the box with Mrs.Tiggywinkle, keen not to disturb them. The hoglet was really healthy and everyone here at Hill Top can't wait until the baby surfaces in a week or two, but how many are there? Can't wait to find out - we'll keep you informed. Here is a picture of the little hoglet - thought to be between 24 and 48 hrs old.

On another note, a barn owl note, part of an egg shell was found outside Bracken and Dreamer's nesting box. Are there any owlets? Dreamer is very aggressive, so it could be. We will not disturb them, we will let you know as soon as we see anything.

We'll be back to our daily blog now Nanny Braund is home, so keep reading.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Spot the Squirrel!

Hello again.

Did anyone know the name of the flower we found yesterday?

Today the weather has been really hot and the canaries have been enjoying their new indoor/outdoor cage.

We've had several squirrels on the front lawn. One of them is a really small baby squirrel, but it was much too fast to photograph. Can you spot the squirrel in this picture?
Still no sign of owlets. We keep listening, but as soon as we hear or see anything we will let you know.
More stories tomorrow.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Cool Canaries

Welcome back. Today started very early for us. At 3.10 a.m. Rossi woke up to notice that the fish tank in his bedroom had about an inch left of water in it. His bedroom floor was flooded and so was the small lounge below his bedroom. The tank, for some unknown reason, produced a large crack in the bottom. It was a rush to rescue the fish and put them in another tank and then clear up all the water.
It's been a really busy day, with the usual cleaning out of the animals, but today we opened up the new small aviary for the canaries. They can stay inside now, or go outside, the choice is theirs. They were certainly cool today. They all decided to explore and come out, so it was really nice to see them enjoying the fresh air and singing with a neighbouring Robin.
We have been busy planting the teacups and then we discovered a small purple flower, with a yellow centre. Does anyone know the name of this flower? We would like to know.
Much more news tomorrow. Thank you for reading our Blog.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Rossi's Whiskered Bat

Hello everyone.

We thought you might just like to see how Rossi's rescued Bat is getting on. Janice, who is looking after the Bat sent this picture. She says, "It is dinner time and she is covered in mealworm juice. She spent the next few hours licking it all off and grooming."
It's lovely to see that she is doing well.
Back tomorrow with more stories.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Can Someone Please Help This Seal?

Hello everyone and welcome back - sorry we have missed a couple of days, but Nanny Braund is still very ill in Hospital.

Firstly, great news on the Bat which Rossi rescued from school last week. Janice Whittington of Tarka Ecology who is looking after our bat, with others which she has rescued, has said today that "The little bat is doing well so far. She won't feed herself yet but is eating about 3 - 4 squeezed out mealworms each feed and has goats milk also. She gets m/w juice all over her face but washes herself and is always clean again next time I feed her." This is great news. We will give you further updates, as we receive them.

Secondly, Beth at the Hartland Wildlife Rescue sent me this picture of a seal which has been spotted around Lundy Island, over the last 2-3 years. The RSPCA have been informed, and apparently did not know where Lundy Island was and said they would send a driver out to check it out!!! (We wonder which road they will take!) Someone needs to help this seal to free it from the net. Can anyone help?

Everything is good here at Hill Top. We have some wonderful American visitors staying for a few days, they are lovely people and really enjoying North Devon.

Dreamer is still sitting on three eggs, so we are all getting excited - probably about another two weeks to go!

Speak to you again tomorrow. Bye from all at Hill Top.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Sign of Spring

Welcome back to another good day at Hill Top.

Today everyone has been really busy. Rossi has been cleaning out the Mini Zoo and today we have moved Millie back into the cage with the other three hedgehogs. The lawns have been cut and the driveway strimmed and the weather has been fantastic. The view across the bay is really stunning.
The Bat Rossi rescued from school is doing fine. Beth from the Hartland Wildlife Rescue took the Bat to see a Bat expert called Jan near Torrington. She said the Bat was a girl and that it was a Whiskered Bat and so the Bat was left with Jan, to be with other bats of the same kind. The Whiskered bat has shaggy fur that can be a dark brown, greyish brown or light brown on its back and a dark or light grey on its underside. The nose, ears and wing membranes are all a blackish brown in colour. The Whiskered bat is very similar to the Brandt’s bat in appearance but tends to generally be slightly darker.

Really exciting news about the The Barn Owls. When we found the empty egg shell on the floor we felt really sad as we thought there were no more, but today we had a look and Dreamer is stitting on three eggs. We will keep you updated.
Keep watching our Blog for more stories of life at Hill Top.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Bracken & Dreamer's Surprise!

Welcome back again!

Yesterday when Rossi went into the aviary to feed the Barn Owls he discovered a cracked egg on the floor. Now we are wondering if there is an owlet or even eggs in the nest. It is cleaning day for the owls today, so maybe we will have more news tonight!
Today we are moving Millie back with the other hedgehogs and it's cleaning day in the Mini Zoo.
It's beautiful weather here at Hill Top Holidays - Roy is putting the last piece of equipment into the playground. Dave has been busy at Rosemoor Gardens doing the lighting for a charity performance by Elkie Brooks, which was said to be a fantastic performance last night.
Back again later.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Millie's Hoglet Dies

Welcome back everyone. We apologise for not writing our blog for a few days, but Nanny Braund has been really poorly.
Firstly, some really sad news. On Sunday Millie was out and about, but there was no sign of her hoglet. We listened, but there was nothing. We decided that we ought to see if the hoglet was alive, or not, and so we asked Beth for some advice. Beth came over (see picture) and sadly we found Millie's hoglet in the bed, and it appears that she had been squashed/suffocated by Millie, which apparently is quite common. Everyone here at Hill Top was really sad, as we had so wanted Millie's hoglet to live, but it was not to be. At the weekend we will move Millie back in with the other hedgehogs again.
Today has been quite exciting with Rossi bringing home a baby bat from school. The baby bat had been found by one of the teachers in a room and was on its own and helpless. Ross kept the baby bat warm and we took it to Beth at the Harltand Wildlife Rescue. Beth had a nice warm box (see picture) and this evening she confirmed that he has been eating - we will keep you updated on his progress.
We'll be back again tomorrow with news about Bracken and Dreamer, our Barn Owls - thank you for reading.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Cucumber Green Spider

Hello again. Today the weather has been miserable - raining all day. Rossi has spent the morning cleaning the animals out in the mini zoo and Greg has been helping Roy with the woodland playground. This will soon be finished now.

Today we saw Millie out and tomorrow we hope to see her baby for the first time. We are hoping to have some pictures tomorrow.
Jon at the CFZ says that the spider in this picture is a Cucumber spider.
The Cucumber green spider (Araniella cucurbitina) is a spider of the Araneidae family. Females grow up to 8 mm, males only up to 5 mm. The spider is mainly found on forest clearings, where it weaves its orb-web between leaves and flowers. These webs are only about 10 cm in diameter.
This spider does not use a hideout, because it is camouflaged by its green colour. Adult spiders first show this colour in spring. Freshly hatched spiderlings are red and change to brown until autumn. On the end of the abdomen there is a red mark in adults.
These spiders occur in the Palearctic, although it can be found in parts of North America, where it was probably introduced.
Yesterday, when Greg was coming home from school, a roe deer ran across the driveway, into the small woodland, but we didn't have a chance to take a photo. The camera is ready and waiting for when it shows its face again!
Thank you for your lovely comments on the Winter White hamster - much appreciated.
More updates on Millie and her hoglet tomorrow. Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Meet Scratchy

Hello and welcome back to Hill Top Tails. Again it has been a great day weatherwise - the view here at Walland Farm is quite breath-taking.
Beth from the Hartland Wildlife Rescue called in today. She had four baby hedgehogs, which were rescued and she is now hand rearing them - all less than a week old, and she also had an injured baby housemartin. It's spring, all the young are arriving, and this is the time of year when she gets really busy.
Introducing you to Scratchy - another member of the Mini Zoo. Scratchy is Greg's Russian Dwarf Hamster or Winter-White - he/she is grey in colour with a dorsal stripe during the summer and turns almost entirely white in the winter.
Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamsters are approximately 8-10cm in length when full grown with males being larger than females. They have expandable cheek pouches. Russian Hamsters have furry feet and are sometimes referred to as the Furry or Hairy Footed Hamster.
Scratchy is fascinating to watch, especially as he changes colour - we all thought that perhaps he was getting old and that was why he turned white, but this spring he turned back to his grey!
Scratchy will take food from you and likes to climb upside down on the bars of his cage.
Work on the woodland playground is still continuing and hopefully it will be finished at the weekend.
Does anyone know what the spider is that was on our blog of Sunday the 31st of May?
Thanks for joining us, we'll be back with more stories tomorrow.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Harold of Hill Top Holidays!

Hello everyone, and what fantastic weather we have had today.

Update on Millie - she is doing well, coming out for her food and we have heard noises, so we are pretty certain that everything is going well with the baby hoglet.
John at the CFZ was really miffed, as yesterday Greg had caught on camera a Devon Painted Lady butterfly - he's been trying to capture one on camera this last week and Greg (Jon's Godson) beat him to it!
Now, to introduce you to Harold. Harold was born on the 25th of July, 1962. Harold was a necessity and we purchased him on the 27th of June, 2007 and the following day he was christened Harold of Hill Top Holidays!
Yes, you've guessed, Harold is our 1962 Fordson Super Dexta Tractor. Harold has been great fun, we couldn't manage without him. We had him taxed and number plated up last year and he has been delivering logs in the winter, he tows the caravans in and out and Harold is used for cutting the fields. Harold is pictured here with Dave driving him and cutting the grass yesterday. As you can see, Dave is dressed for the occasion! Rossi was also cutting the grass yesterday - probably chasing Dave and Harold - Ross coming up the rear on Mervyn the ride-on-mower!
There really never is a dull day here at Hill Top.
Back with more updates tomorrow. Thank you for reading our Blog.