Owlsland in May

The weather's warming up now, we're seeing around 25 degrees most days. This is one of the loveliest times of the year, with lush, green growth all around. Most of the villagers haven't started to move back from the coast yet, so peace reigns.

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A Turkish village in late Spring - What's happening on the farms

*****Stop Press!!!!*****
bee-eater April 20th, 2010 - and the bee-eaters are back, the earliest we can remember! We just had to put this photograph up - they've arrived early this past two or three years now, and though you can hear their warbling song (similar to the water-pipes you had as a child), and can often see a flock of them wheel high in the sky, it's quite rare to get a close view. But here's one!

Lots of new babies everywhere! These twin kids are just a few days old. new baby goats
mother goat and kids These kids were born two months ago, but still don't stray far from mum. But just like her, they love to see what's going on around them.
The hens in this village really are free-range! Baby chicks follow the mother hen, and their high-pitched "cheep cheep" is a common sound just now. two baby chickens
village women shearing sheep As the weather warms up, the sheep need sheared. Here, Muzifer and her daughter make a start on shearing their flock.
There's still room for wild flowers amongst the crops.This is tree mallow & buttercups in a barley field. wildflowers abound amongst the grain

The Mountains in late Spring - Birds and Wild Flowers

For bird watching, May is a great month. Apart from those birds which stay here all year, there are many migrants which come to breed.

The swallows fly all the way from Africa to nest here and raise their young, returning year after year to the same nest site. Here, they're laboriously collecting mud to build or repair their nests. swallows collecting mud for nests
Scops Owl Owlsland has various species of owl around, hence the name. These are Scops owl, and this pair has a nest nearby. You can hear them call all the time, but they're rarely seen in daytime, so we were delighted when they perched long enough to snap this photo.
The oriole, with its vivid yellow colouring, is one of the most spectacular migrants. You see him only for a few short weeks at this time, then again in September. oriole in poplar tree
masked shrike Another bird whose population appears to have increased the past few years is the masked shrike. Several pairs are nesting in our garden and our neighbour's this year.
The dawn chorus at this time of year is absolutely breathtaking. Bezirgan is blessed with many breeds of songbird, one of which is the Sardinian Warbler, which sings from morning till night. Last year was the first time we'd seen these in our garden, but it looks like a pair may nest here this year, which we're really excited about! sardinian warbler in acacia
collared flycatcher Another songbird, this time a collared flycatcher - these small birds have an amazingly loud song for their size. They nested in our garden last year for the first time, so hopefully they'll nest again this year too!
Our dogs love this time of year, before it gets too hot. Anywhere we go, they go too! These are Sweep (with the dots above her eyes) and Bran. faithful friends
tassel hyacinth May is still a good time to see wild flowers in the fields and in the mountains. This is a tassel hyacinth.
Cuckoo pint, or Lords and Ladies. One of the first wild flowers to send up new leaves in spring, just now its fascinating velvety purple or black spathes and spikes abound. Beautiful - but they smell horribly! cuckoo pint

The Garden in Spring - Herbs & Flowers & Wildlife

Borage self-seeds all over the herb garden, where it attracts butterflies and bees.This is a solitary wasp, a great eater of greenfly. mason wasp on borage
container of ivy-leaved geraniums Geraniums are one of our favourites in the garden. They love the hot, dry, sunny conditions, and we're always guaranteed some spectacular displays (and they're forgiving if we're a bit late watering them!). This is "crockette", an ivy-leaved geranium.
The herb garden's looking good, and the scents of the different aromatic herbs in the morning make sure you start the day in a good frame of mind. Bran certainly seems to agree, as he makes himself comfortable in the thyme. bran making himself comfy in the thyme
reeds & irises by the pond The irises in the pond are flowering. It could be that the bullrushes are maybe more vigorous than we expected them to be!
Lots of bees and wasps around this year; here Gremlin has a close encounter with a very large bumble bee. gremlin investigates a bumble bee
>painted lady butterfly A painted lady butterfly basks in the sun.

A comma butterfly on viburnum. comma butterfly
red valerian One of the most successful plants in the herb garden is red valerian, a native which thrives in the dry conditions, and attracts lots of butterflies.

And that's a taste of May in the mountains -
Come and visit, see it for yourself!

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