Posted by: kathandroger | July 2, 2017

Birds and the Bats’ Boudoir.

Our life seems to revolve around the animals and birds in France. Every day there seems to be in incident which either amuses or annoys. The swallows this year have been even more numerous-I hear they are becoming less common in the UK- and have been nesting in almost all of our outbuildings. Last year I installed a pulley, made of an old bicycle trainer part, so that I could haul up the lambs before skinning and butchering. It has obviously provided a good anchorage point for a new nest, and I managed to get this snap of part of the family in between their initial flying lessons.IMG_3781

Our old chicken, Beryl, decided to go broody for the first time in about four years. We don’t keep a cockerel because of the noise, so we had to find her some fertile eggs to sit on. Luckily, our neighbours always have some and so we put half a dozen under Beryl. She sat well, but initially got off the nest to have a daily wander around the orchard. This gave Polly the puppy time to get into the hen house and steal an egg, which she did on two occasions. We had added a few non fertilised eggs to make a good clutch for the bird, but sods law dictated that the wayward hound only took the fertile eggs! Beryl finally got better at sitting, and we were rewarded with a pair of chicks, one a standard yellow bird, and the other a counou (naked neck) which looks just like a little black monk to me. All seemed to be going well, until I noticed a dark object in the yard. Polly was on one side of it and Dennis, the bird eating cat, was on the other side. It looked like a pile of poo, so it was strange to see it being observed so closely. It was only when I approached that I could see it was the little black chick, which Polly had taken from the hen house, and carried about eighty metres in her mouth, much as she does with stolen eggs before eating them. The cat would undoubtedly have killed the little bird, but it was not damaged and only a bit wet from dog slobber. Beryl was pleased when I took it back and all seems well.IMG_3784After friend Rogers’ suggestion they are to be called Black and Decker!

We are moving into Bat season in our back utility room. There seems to be a colony of Pipistrelle bats who tend to have babies and fly around the room at this time of year. Often we find dead youngsters, which is sad as bats only have one young a year I am told, but before mating the females need to have a good wash and brush up. We have an old sink unit in the room which is being well used for this purpose.IMG_3785There is no perfume available, but I am sure her freshness will prove irresistible!


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