27 August 2009

Birds again

Another bird photograph (just to prove that I can get one that is recognisably a bird). This is a Solitary sandpiper (Tringa solitaria) that was feeding on the weed-caked surface of our pond the other day. My bird book describes this as an uncommon sighting in this area: they breed further north, which means that this one was probably on its way elsewhere.
I haven't posted any chicken pictures of late, so here is one to show them in their new enclosure. Mike has blocked off the five gaps in the orchard fence to give them a semi-secure area to roam around in. We let them out in the late morning and they have the freedom of their run and the orchard until the early evening. The logic is that they will lay their eggs in the barn nest boxes in the morning and then fill up on bugs and greens in the orchard the rest of the day. It might not work out that way, but that is the plan. I'm beginning to get impatient to see (and eat!) that first egg.

I bring them in at night by bashing the side of a feed scoop with my fingernails. They recognise this noise and usually all come running back into the barn to get their evening snack of scratch (a mixture of different grains). Occasionally I have to go and chase a slow one back in, but the promise of food works well most of the time.

1 comment:

June said...

Love to watch the chickens when they are out and about. It will be interesting to see if yours lay in the morning. Ours lay eggs any old time of day, which can make it frustrating to let them free-range. Often, they do return to the nest box to lay. Sometimes, though, it is an Easter egg hunt.