Mice are one of the less-desirable side-effects which come with putting grain out for the small birds. We have a love/hate relationship with them. On the one hand, they are rather cute; on the other, if they get into the house they have a habit of eating the electrical wiring; and on the other - thank goodness they're not rats.
We've never had to worry too much about them in the past because we had Bandit, one of whose hunts was recorded by the Diary here. Sadly, Bandit died recently and we didn't replace her - and the mouse population has taken advantage of our loss.
To make matters worse, yesterday morning, for the first time ever, we found that something had had a go at five of our kale plants, which were doing very well. We suspect it may be a rabbit, something which would never have dared come into the garden in Bandit's time as she ate rabbits as happily as she ate mice.
So we've had to try to make the kale bed rabbit-proof with wire. The kale wasn't attacked last night so either the wire worked or the rabbit has moved on.
Our raspberries are doing very well indeed, as they always do. It never ceases to amaze me that they seem to so enjoy this climate. But, once again, in Bandit's absence our crop is rather smaller than usual as....
....we're sharing it with a family of blackbirds, probably the same one that enjoyed some of our raspberries last year.
We don't mind sharing the crop but we do object when the blackbirds sit in a neighbouring tree and scold us when we're picking our share, as if they were responsible for nurturing the crop instead of us.