Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Bird Day

Strange how some days have a theme running through them. Yesterday was a birdy sort of day.

We had kites. No, no, not those jolly colourful things with strings that are so much fun on a windy day, but Red Kites - Milvus milvus. And Kites plural. Not one, but two.

We're more familiar with buzzards up here, sometimes seeing 3 or 4 wheeling gracefully over Badnage Wood. Kites are a less frequent sight, although over the last 12 months we've come to think that one is living locally. Today though we had a pair circling overhead. They twirled over our heads, rising and falling, avoiding the Ravens which seemed most put out by these visitors. Eventually they drifted away and we returned to our chores in the field. I wonder if they are nesting locally - or looking for a nest site. There are plenty of eminently suitable places round here. I would like that very much.

Swallows. Until recently we didn't have a field shelter. The Glam. Ass is actually still putting the finishing touches to it in terms of owl boxes and down-spouts but it is, to all intents and purposes, a finished thing, a neat timber construction under a blue slate roof. It appears to be just what the swallows have been looking for - a very des.res. They have built a nest up in the apex of the roof and we hope they will lay and hatch a brood there.  They whistle round our ears if we go in for the tractor or for shavings and if a small bird can be threatening, well we get the message. Clear orf.

Another des.res. This is my new broody coop:
The hen in front, puffed up to twice her size, is a broody Maran. Until yesterday she was sitting tight in the big hen-house, intimidating all the other birds. I'd no intention of letting her sit in there and dutifully removed eggs on a daily basis. The ever resourceful* Glam.Ass. made me this sweet little house so I could set her on some eggs away from the hurly-burly of the rest of the flock. I truly think it's one of the lovliest little houses I have ever seen. So far there's a pot egg in there. Thought I'd get her settled before putting in a clutch of Rhode Island eggs....

Is she grateful? Is she sitting? Is she steady? Is she 'eck.  This morning she is pacing and clucking like a thing demented. Something is obviously not right. Perhaps this will be an un-broody coop. That's fine by me - she can go back in the pen and get on with egg producing again. A small hen house will always be handy. (Did I ever think in my former life I'd find myself saying something like that? Answer: No.)

*At the end of last week we called in at ICH Joinery and Timber - what used to be Powis Wood Yard, just outside Welshpool, opposite Coed y Dinas. The timber business not being what it was they've diversified slightly with a side-line in architectural salvage and we were lucky enough to buy a couple of pieces of furniture for the garden - when cleaned up they will look fantastic. There were boxes too - not just a few itsy matchwood things, but something like 1300 sturdy wooden crates....We bought 5 for £20 - thinking they would make good planters and, spotting one with a panel missing, thought that would form the basis of a small hen hut. Just add legs, a roof and a door. Well done that man.

10 comments:

Pamela said...

Lovely post! It's very strange here in the colonies. Most people really don't care too much about birds the way we do in England. If I see a bird of prey at work and get all animated about it they look at me like I'm mad. Maybe because they are in abundance here?
I hope you get swallows nesting - they are so wonderful when they swoop around you when you are mowing the grass.

Frances said...

Thank you for telling us about the birds around you, on land and in the air. I mostly get to see only city pigeons and sparrows, and just cannot get too enthusiastic about their goings on.

Best wishes!

her at home said...

Our brooody is a fussy thing she is sitting on what I think are probably 3 remaining duck eggs, far too bossy and big to let me look without losing a hand,she has I think abandoned the chicken eggs of duck because the sitting period is longer so perhaps she isnt too eager to embrace mother hood after all.

Wipso said...

I've loved reading your bird tales. I've been watching gold finches today feeding 6 foot from my kitchen window....love them.
A x

Twiglet said...

We get a single Kite over here occasionally. I am enjoying all the bird life on BBC Springwatch - the Nightjar was fascinating.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

The Maran is very beautiful , broody or not . Perhaps she's waiting for a few decoratoer touches like cushions and a potplant .

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

"decoratoer touches"... Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes ?

Pondside said...

I've just shown this to The Great Dane - another building project in his future!

elizabethm said...

I love your broody coop! Just gorgeous. If she doesn't take to it she is clearly nuts.
I'm glad to hear you have swallows too. Your place is just made for swallows swooping.

Brown Dog said...

What a birdy place you do live in. How lovely to have the prospect of househunting kites in the vicinity. Hope the broody hen is now settling in - looks like a perfect little hen house to me.