Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Unicycle Mad!

Hello, welcome back to Hill Top Tails. You will be pleased to know that Mars has settled down again after his episode on Saturday! Our Greg is just Unicycle mad. He rides his unicycle absolutely everywhere and has done so, since he had it as a Birthday present,almost two years ago. He was so determined to learn to ride it. He practised constantly until he got the hang of it and hasn't stopped unicycling since. He goes miles on it and is even talking about doing a unicycle ride for charity. Whatever he does and whatever he is doing he uses his unicycle to do it. This evening he was collecting the broom to go and sweep out the pgymy goat area and I caught him on the video! I thought you might like to see it.

More Hill Top Tails tomorrow. Thank you for reading our blog.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Large Elephant Hawk Moth

Hello! Firstly, thank you to Dan Holdsworth for giving us the following information about the moth Rossi found: -

"That's a Large Elephant Hawk Moth; there's nothing else in the UK that looks at all like that species. They're not at all uncommon; the larval food plant is rose bay willow herb, and the caterpillars have a curious trick for dissuading predatory birds from attacking them. What they do is stand up on their back prolegs, open up a pair of large eyespots on the front end and sway about, looking very like a particularly convincing snake-mimic that looks even more snake-ish than a real snake does Most of the time a bird is going to be so disconcerted by this display that it leaves the harmless caterpillar alone."

Ross has been busy looking after his new baby canaries. He has been breeding canaries for some time now.They really are very pretty - they are crested canaries and at least two of them seem to have a crest coming. We'll try and take some photos for you later in the week.

Thought you might like to see one of our regular squirrels - they really are very clever - they even hang from the bird table upside down if there is a bird on the nuts! Perhaps we should set up some kind of a squirrel assault course to get to the nuts!
More Hill Top Tails tomorrow. Thank you for joining us.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Pink & Green Moth!

Hello again. It's just such a shock to have so much lovely weather, long may it continue.
We have had a really busy weekend here, so this morning it was nice to go down to the service at St.Anne's Church in Bucks Mills (just down the road). The service is held here fortnightly and whilst we only have a small congregation, the service is always special, and the Church is just so lovely inside. It's magic sitting in the Church on a Sunday morning that I know so many of my family have also shared over the many decades.
I need some help here - Ross has found a really pretty green and pink dead moth. Does anyone know what kind of moth it is? We would be really pleased to know, as we have never seen a moth like this. Hope someone knows.
Thank you for reading. More Hill Top Tails tomorrow.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Fire Engines at Hill Top

Welcome back to Hill Top Tails!

Well this evening has certainly been unusual. For those of you who have been following our stories about Rossi training Mars, his Harris Hawk, then something very different happened this evening.

At about 6 pm, as usual, Rossi took his Hawk out to fly him. Mars is off the creance now and so he was flying freely up into the trees and returning to Ross, but he went up into a tree and could not fly down. We realised that he was caught up in the tree. His jesse had got caught on a piece of snapped branch and his foot was trapped. Mars was about 25 to 30ft up in the tree with very thin branches and we had absolutely no way of getting him down. After trying everything possible for about an hour and a half we rang the RSPCA and asked for their advice. They suggested we ring the Fire Brigade, which we did, as in a couple of hours it would be dark. They were fantastic!

First of all the Fire & Rescue Unit arrived from Bideford, but they couldn't put their ladder up to the tree, as the branches were too thin. They called for the Fire Engine from Barnstaple which had a ladder platform. Within about half an hour or so both teams were at Hill Top working out a plan of how to rescue Mars. Ross (who is scared of heights) was so brave and went up into the platform with a Fireman. By now, Mars was hanging by his leg and Ross managed to grab both legs and release him, so after about half and hour or so, Mars was rescued. We want to say a big thank you to all the Firemen/woman who helped - they were great.

Greg was thrilled with the fire engines and took many photographs, as you can imagine, so here are a few for you to share with us.

Rossi is the happiest boy to have his Harris Hawk back.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped.

Join us for more Hill Top Tails tomorrow. This story will be a hard one to follow!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Pygmy Goats

Hello again! Today I thought you might like to see how the Pgymy Goats have grown in the last couple of months. They get so excited when Greg comes home from school, they can't wait to see him! They are really enjoying the big field now the weather is nicer and they love playing. The boys have put logs and tyres in the field and they have a large mound in the middle. They skip and jump around very playfully and you could watch them for hours, they are such fun. Pygmy goats make great pets, but you have to remember that they are herd animals and need company, so you should always keep at least two.
More Hill Top Tails tomorrow. Thank you for reading.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Beautiful Moths

Good evening!
Another glorious day. There are so many bunnies around, they really are lovely, great to have so many Peter Rabbits and Benjamin Bunnies running around at Hill Top.
With the nice evenings we are thinking about having another moth trapping night. Last time we had a super evening identifying the moths. I thought you might like to see a few more of the pictures we took last time.
Tomorrow I'll update you on the pygmy goats, Bracken, Brando and Sasha. You'll be surprised how much they have grown.
Hope you can join me tomorrow. Goodnight!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Mars - Free At Last!

Hello Everyone! We have some wonderful pictures of Rossi with his Harris Hawk, named Mars. Ross has been training Mars and he has now taken off the creance and Mars is flying freely. It's wonderful to watch and great to see how he flies back to Rossi. Mars is a really beautiful bird and Ross is so enjoying him, it's lovely to see them together. We thought you might like the pictures as much as we do!

It's absolutely lovely weather here, we just hope you are enjoying it as much as we are. Back again tomorrow with more Hill Top Tails.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Flying Chinese Lanterns

What a fantastic half term week it has been. We have had a super family from the Bristol area staying with us over the holiday. This evening their lovely children Travis, Dexter and Freya made their wishes as their authentic flying chinese lanterns were released into the sky. It was magic!! Great fun and real family entertainment.

Our redfoot tortoise has been poorly (seen here on the left). She stopped eating and has had a runny nose. She was seen by the vet today and has been given antibiotics so we are hoping she will soon be well again. We will let you know how she progresses.
More Hill Top Tails tomorrow. Take care.