The lockdown is leading many of us to change our habits – and the Powis Castle peacocks are no different.

The birds at the historic Welshpool property are missing their usual audience, and have instead taken to following the National Trust’s gardeners on their daily rounds.

Alan, one of the long-standing resident peacocks, has been keeping head gardener Dave company as he waters the pots of flowers on the terraces, while a number of the other peacocks have been showing off their extravagant tail feathers to staff – a demonstration they usually reserve for female peacocks and visitors.

The birds are used to receiving plenty of attention from visitors to the Baroque garden – and often a few scraps and leftovers too.

Sarah Johnson, the attraction's visitor experience manager, said: “They seem very pleased to see whichever member of staff goes out to feed them each morning, although we think they’re secretly hoping for a cream tea.”

Powis Castle is famous for its peacocks, which were a tradition in grand houses in the Victorian period.

Other National Trust properties around the country have had a similar experience.

Hares, stoats and weasels have come in from woodland to explore the normally busy gardens of Plas yn Rhiw, on the Llyn Peninsula.

Peregrine falcons have been nesting on the ruins of Corfe Castle in Dorset, English partridges are wandering in an empty car park near Cambridge, and a cuckoo is calling at Osterley in west London.

Ben McCarthy, head of nature conservation at the National Trust, said: "It has only been eight weeks but wildlife seems to be enjoying the breathing space.

"With less traffic and fewer people, we've heard deafening levels of birdsong and seen famous monuments and formal gardens colonised by wildlife.

"Nature's recovery is still a long way off, but the fact that people are noticing what's around them is something to be celebrated."

Properties remain closed, though the Trust is working on its reopening plans.

But as visitors start to return to National Trust countryside and coastal sites as restrictions ease, the charity is urging people to be careful of wildlife that has made itself at home in new areas in the lockdown.