In our previous residence we were besieged by pigeons – those town pigeons, feral pigeons, which the RSPB call Rock Doves which sounds much nicer than they are. We ended up putting spikes on our window sills.
Today we thought we might be able to add species number 41 to our bird list when our first pigeon (not counting Wood Pigeons) was sighted. It seemed to want to take up residence with the young hens. Closer examination showed a leg-ring and it was clear it was a slightly confused racing pigeon. It was obviously in search of love and corn.
Having a visit from our totally qualified and certified bird handler today we were able to take a peep at the content of some of our nestboxes. Blue Tit and Flycatcher chicks:
The Flycatcher continues to be a bold and fascinating presence on the plot
Today he was witnessed exhibiting an interesting behaviour – peeping into Blue Tit nests
There is research on this – it is thought that is a migrant incomer he has not quite got his finger on the pulse of current gossip: state of food supplies, recent temperatures, and inspects other nests to see if it might be time to lay some eggs.
The Robins have been spending all their time trying to keep fledglings satisfied
Back and forth to the mealworm feeder making beelines back to the offspring.
and green shoots also emerging in our minds as we make the second inspirational visit of the week. Today 80 miles south to relations – out of touch for ever until a common motivation brings us back together. Spending time with people who have been ploughing the furrow ahead of us is so heartening – we see hugelkulture beds and learn about infrared heating plus seeing more cockerels than should ever be in the same place at the same time. Drive home brimming with new ideas.
Today we were inspired by visiting some neighbours. A retired couple – what do you do? Obvious. Buy up 43 acres of neglected farmland and manage and care for it to let animals and plants thrive and expand. Now more bird, plant and tree species than you could imagine, the only located Goosander nest in Montgomeryshire, and visiting naturalists saying this is the best natural environment outside the Shetlands. She leaps in her digger to carve out drainage channels; he will plant out hundreds of saplings to contour the woodland.
Our three and a half acres is less than a tenth of their custodianship but I trust the motivation is the same.
OK, we need your help – or if you think you have no skills in this area we need your predictions.
The eggs hatch, the chicks are chicks, and then they start turning into grown-up chickens. But at what point can you tell if they will be hen or cockerel?
With this lot we have mixed hopes. Normally people want hens but we got the Speckled Sussex eggs as we want a cockerel and think this variety are friendly! We also have French Morans and one Australorp.