Posted by: kathandroger | June 10, 2016

Caruso, the poo sign and the wayward chicken.

The lovely warm summer weather has at last arrived. It means the grass grows even more quickly and that the mowers seem always on the go, but there are some compensations. In the evening, a well earned beer or two is savoured on our little table outside our house, overlooking the courtyard.IMG_3404And this week we have been serenaded by Caruso the blackbird. We are blessed with lots of fine songbirds here, including the nightingale, but none is so strong of voice or persistent of melody as this fine chap. I am not sure what he has to sing about, but life does seem to be good for him and he is keen for all the other feathered friends informed.IMG_3406The swallows have had their first broods, and flying lessons have been given over the past couple of weeks. At least three families have been swooping around and roosting in the various outhouses in the evenings. This has led to the abandoning of the nests until the next brood is raised, and the piles of swallow poo beneath them show a remarkable transformation. From being replenished daily with white droppings, the heap changes into a soft black material which I am sure will be good for the flowerbed.IMG_3409.JPGThe wild birds seem to be doing much better than our tame ones. Our old chickens are largely off lay now and eggs are rare. Beryl, the wayward chicken, decided to go broody again, and eventually settled on half a dozen fertile eggs we cadged from a neighbour. She was not the most attentive of sitters, and left the nest after a couple of days, but we were confident we could hear some chick tweetings beneath her recently. She passed her due date and did not move, so I lifted her off yesterday to find one broken egg, three not hatched, and one chick which had been suffocated by her wayward mother.IMG_3410.JPGBeryl has produced good broods in the past, but is getting on a bit now and it may be time to get some more chickens. I don’t think I could put her in a curry, but if she digs up more of the petunias that may be her fate.

The other sad event this week was a drowned hedgehog in the swimming pool. Poor little thing must have got in for a dip during the night and been unable to find the bit of pool cover I try to leave so that they can climb out. Apparently hedgehogs can swim quite well, but an all night swim must have been too much. I read that many people have them as pets and some hedgehogs enjoy supervised swimming. I wonder if they have little armbands as well?

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