With the sun out, we enjoyed today's lunch on the terrace in the company of friends. This is the first time we've seen our resident wood mouse this year, but he's forgotten none of his boldness, leaving the protection of the plant stand and running out onto the pavings to collect a choice grain that had been thrown to him by one of the small birds feeding above him.
Mrs Redpoll is around a fair bit, but not her husband. We've seen both of them at a neighbour's down the road, so we suspect that either he's transferred his allegiance or she leaves him to look after the eggs while she nips up here for a decent meal. One thing we note is that Mrs Redpoll always finishes her meal with a drink from the birdbath.
The goldfinches are having a good summer, and now there are young with them. They're a noisy lot at the table, quarrelling about everything, something they didn't seem to do so much in the hard times of winter.
Another species which continues to thrive is the yellowhammer. There's almost always a pair at the feeders, and several joined us for lunch today - this is a female - but no sign yet of any accompanying young.
This is an old friend, the same robin that spent all last summer coming to join us whenever we were eating or having a drink outside. The other small birds have to make do with common bird grain, but this chap is grossly spoilt by Mrs Diary, being given everything from her very fine Dundee cake through to best cheddar cheese.
Today's convivial meal was rather spoilt at one point when the local buzzard arrived on one of this favourite lookout points at the top of the conifer on the other side of the road. Happily, he didn't stay long.