Wild wild life

One of the things that drew us to the hostel was its garden. Not because we’re particularly green fingered (because we’re not, yet!), but for its potential to attract wildlife.

Moving to a more rural location means that we hear the early morning and evening birdsong much more clearly. We have lots of bird feeders outside the kitchen window of the hostel. The daily feeding frenzy that takes place provides a nice backdrop to washing the dishes for our guests. So far, we’ve spotted goldfinches, greenfinches, chaffinches, siskins, sparrows, blue tits, coal tits and great tits feeding on the seed, peanuts and fat balls that we top up every morning. There are plenty of other birds that come to our garden too – blackbirds, house martins, robins, tree pipits, song thrushes, collared doves, wood pigeons and ducks have all been sighted.

As well as our feathery friends, we’ve been fortunate to have some furry visitors too! Field mice, red squirrels and a stag have popped in to see us and, during our time here, we’ve watched the stag’s antlers grow to an impressive size. The field next to us has Highland cows for part of the year, a very popular attraction for our guests. We’re told they will return later on in the year. Spring will be the best time to come and stay at the hostel if you want to see baby “heilan’ coos”.

We have a pond at the bottom of the garden and its lily pads are home to this year’s frogs. Insect life is abundant too (not just the midges!). We have bees, butterflies and dragonflies buzzing around the pond and the garden herbs.

So, although we’ve not been here long, we think our garden will be a success as a wildlife-friendly haven, even with two cats!

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