January 2022 Updates

A very Happy New Year to all. Its been a bit hectic for 2021 with the new build here at Ticketyboo and the Curlew film.

But the building exterior work has all finished., and we managed to incorporate five built in Swift nest boxes at the end of the building, we now just need to lure them in.

We have two new Barn Owl boxes going out onto the meadow to replace the old ones next week.

And here is the Curlew Film, A Curlew Calls.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3P-GAsw15o

The Barn Owls have been out in the afternoon just recently, because of the frosty nights, with no voles coming out.

July & August 2021 Updates

Great to have three Barn Owl chicks from the photo of the four eggs taken on the 14 June last. The ringing was done on 25 July so the chicks should be showing around 16 August.

The Otters have been up and down the River Stiffkey here at the bottom of the garden, even at 9:45 in the evening. Also, good sightings of the Kingfishers.

The building work continues on the end of Ticketyboo Cottage, hampered by rain most weeks, but looking forward to having a view over the meadow one day…

Chrissie has been very busy with the Curlew release program at Kenhill and Sandringham, and I have been commissioned to make a film of this story, as well as being a Royal Photographer for the day.

And finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ian, who has looked after this website since day one of the opening of Old Beans Cottage, as he is now fully retiring. He has done a fantastic job over the years on all my websites.

February, March, April, May and June 2021 Updates

Where does the time go…. another lockdown, rain and rain, some snow, and a lot of hard frosts, and now halfway through the year we have sunshine at long last.

The Barn Owls are nesting in the new nest box in the nearest tree, and we will have a peep in the box this week and ring the chicks. We have ordered two more nest boxes to replace the old ones down the far end of the meadow.

We have put up lots more House Martin nest boxes as well as nesting platforms for Swallows in the stable.

Last week it was so good to hear the Cuckoo here, and a brief sighting of the Spotted Flycatcher.

We have some building work happening here from the 7 June. An extension on the end of Ticketyboo Cottage should have started in April, but due to bad weather, the work was put back.

The three builders start at 8.30 am and finish at 4.30 pm. There is no radio on site! Building material will be brought onto the site at the bottom of Old Beans garden from time to time.

January 2021 Update

Well, January was all about the weather; from hard frosts to one day of snow and to so many many days of rain.

The Barn Owls have been out all hours hunting working in with the weather.

November & December 2020 Update

November has seen some nice frosty mornings with sightings of the owls out and about. The Otters have been caught on camera quite a few times too.

With the month-long lockdown, it has given us the chance to give the cottage a deep clean and decorate completely throughout. The cottage has even got a new smart TV.

It was nice to see the two Barn Owls out hunting on the meadow on 1 December at 15:15.

At the moment we are fully operational with Airbnb until the end of March 2021, and then it’s over to Norfolk Cottages for the very last time until 28 September 2021, and then back to Airbnb for the future.

Chrissie and I wish you a Happy Christmas and look forward to seeing you all in 2021.

October 2020 Update

Well, I hope you are all well and keeping OK.

Its been a very hectic time here for us after lockdown. Old Beans Cottage and The Bohemian Blue Hut have been fully booked up and continue to do so. With Old Beans Cottage it is now on Airbnb for the Autumn / Winter and early Spring for three nights minimum stay and then with some bookings with Norfolk Cottages in the summer, but next year where we have gaps it will be going onto Airbnb. Why? you might ask, well Norfolk Cottages take 25% off us in booking fees and Airbnb takes 3% so its a no brainer really for the business.

We will close the cottage for a week in January 2021 to get the decorators in, and builder to tidy up a few things.

The Housemartins had a very successful June and July here at Ticketyboo. Hopefully, they will be back here next year along with the Swallows. The Barn Owls are still showing very well.

Housemartin heaven
The Otters are still showing well at the bottom of the garden

May 2020 Update

The flowers at Old Beans have been a delight but seems strange that there’s not been anybody in the cottage this year to enjoy them.

I checked all the nest boxes on 17 May; we had one large Tawny Owl chick, four Kestrel eggs and the Barn Owl sitting on three eggs. So, fingers crossed.

The Barn Owl has been showing very well this season out on the water meadow, along with the Hares. The Mayfly hatch here on the 22 May was incredible, and a first with a Reed Warbler singing from the pond. Sadly there has been no sign of the Spotted Flycatcher. But on a good ending with lockdown its meant – with me being here with the return of the swallows and House Martins – that I have been able to make mud pies every day in this drought so that they can carry on nest building.

March & April 2020 Updates

Dear all

I hope you are all well and safe, and DIY jobs doing fine.

Here at Ticketyboo Cottage, all is well, and as you all know, I am very lucky to live in open space with fields, river and surrounding woods.

Like most places the sound of birds singing is amazing. Its been a great time to get a lot of jobs done at Old Beans Cottage as well as at Ticketyboo; it’s that old saying ‘like the Forth River Bridge…’.

The first Swallow was back here on the 8 April, on the same day the neighbours saw the Otter heading upstream in daylight. Lots of Brimstones, Orange Tips and Holly Blues; the Masonry Bees are again very active at Old Beans. We now wait for the return of the Spotted Flycatchers…..

All the very best


A few shots of the back of Old Beans up to present date

The Kestrels have been very noisy with bonding and food passes, and now she has gone down on eggs, so time will tell in about 28 days….

A first for the pond here at Ticketyboo, a female Reed Bunting singing out.

And another first is a Raven here in East Barsham. Its been here for two weeks and living up at the church, and can be heard calling out most days, but on several mornings its been down the lane here.


I thought I would share with you my last Filming Job in January in the Arctic Circle with Mr Ray Mears

Ticketyboo Fest has been cancelled for June 2020 and will now take place in 2021

January & February 2020 Updates

A little bit of everything with the weather. Even on Sunday 15 February with storm Dennis, which blew over trees in the nearby spinney which in turn took down the power lines, which knocked out electricity for us and several nearby villages. We were all very impressed with the UK Power Networks team that came down to fix the massive problem, which was sorted out within six hours.

The Kestrels have been in and out of their box, so next week when the winds die down, we will put new sawdust into the nest box to freshen up things; the same with the Barn Owl boxes. On Friday night a Little Owl could be heard calling out.

Hares have also been boxing in the field next door.

December 2019 Update

The Bohemian Blue Hut has had many night-time visitors, as we have been feeding the Otters down by the river.

We even had one dog Otter at 14:30 on a sunny afternoon; you just never know what’s next…

At Old Beans Cottage, the Kestrels have been in and out of their Nest Box, and the Barn Owls of a night time can be heard screeching out. They’re using the Horse Shelter and the nest box in the willow tree and also the new box. There could well be more than two owls on site.

In the Autumn and Winter we put the cottage onto Airbnb with a minimum stay of three nights; do check it out or email us on martinhaywardsmith@btinternet.com

Happy Christmas to all