Peter and I have been at Higher Bowden, we have seen a huge variety of
birds and animals visiting the grounds. Most obvious amongst these is
the prolific community of rabbits which currently includes several black
rabbits of domestic descent. We have
also seen foxes, badgers, bats (which live in our workshop), shrews,
grass snakes, slow worms, frogs, toads, newts, squirrels and moles.
are a common site in this part of the country and there are several of
them nesting in trees along the Beech Walk. At night we have spotted and
heard both Barn Owls and Tawny Owls. The pond attracts a lot of visitors
including herons, a pair of moorhens, huge emperor dragonflies and a
kingfisher. Other notable birds include green
and spotted woodpeckers, kestrels, cuckoos, sparrow hawks, yellow
hammers, skylarks and an occasional pheasant taking refuge from hunting
parties. We have also found giant bush crickets, a very rare cricket
only found in this part of the South Hams.
Yet more creatures have been seen in the surrounding area. Deer, previously
unheard of in the South Hams, have been seen several times only a few
fields away. A couple of guests returning from an evening out where
surprised to come upon a stag in the lane in front of them. It promptly
leapt over the nearest hedge and disappeared. Indeed, many animals get
temporarily trapped in the country lanes, allowing the motorist a good
view before they disappear into a gap in the hedge. Or scuttle quickly
across like a family of stoats I saw recently.
Occasionally guests have been lucky enough to sight
seals swimming or basking along the coast.