At Crooked Cottage, we have the privilege of being visited by a wide variety of animals, including adorable kittens, wild roe deer, and several types of birds.
Although I grew up in Lithuania, I don't ever remember seeing such an abundance of wildlife. I guess that was mainly due to the fact I always lived in the city.
You might not ever realise how common certain animals are, unless you spend a large portion of your time in the countryside. We certainly didn't!
Living in the rural part of Lithuania had an unexpected, but very welcome side effect. Not only were we suddenly exposed to various species of animals, we could observe their behaviour in relation to weather and seasons!
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Being able to see and interact with wild animals is something we don't take for granted. And so, choosing our favourite encounters (to date) wasn't easy! In no particular order, here we go:
Moose. Technically, we never had a close encounter with a moose right on our territory, but they were spotted nearby! One example in particular was in a farmer field just behind the goat shed. And by looking at animal tracks next to our pond, we know for a fact that moose come to have a drink here!
Weasel. Weasels are adorable, but don't let their cute face fool you. They are fierce! Our first encounter with a weasel was like something out of David Attenborough programme. We watched it chase and kill a mouse. The weasel was very concerned that we were there to take away it's prey so it hid in an old tyre. In the winter, weasels change their coat colour to camouflage themselves in the snow. What a truly fascinating animal!
Lizard. There is only one lizard species native to Lithuania, and we have them here at Crooked Cottage! Unlike most lizards, this species (zootoca vivipara) are viviparous, which means instead of laying eggs they give birth to their young. Cool, huh?
Stork. In this part of Lithuania, storks are everywhere during their nesting season! You'll see nests atop of electricity poles and water towers. Throughout spring and summer, we got to watch several stork families grow, including the moment youngsters were learning to fly!
Roe deer. When we first moved, we kept hearing a weird sound in the distance. It sounded like a dog bark, except if the dog had a sore throat. Turns out, that's a call of a roe buck! There are plenty of roe deer in the areas surrounding our homestead, you are almost guaranteed to spot one when you visit!