|If you could see what I can see.....|
Our style here is generally one of minimal intervention. The birds (except our orchard-confined geese) are fully free range and not wing-clipped, they are almost 'guests' here by choice although we do try to keep them rounded up off the lane outside and try to stop any fights; we try to adhere to that high welfare mantra of allowing them to exhibit natural behaviour. We tend to contain any new bird for only a short while so that they can identify this place with its noises, skyline, smells and we humans, as home, and to ensure that none of the existing birds see red and try to attack the newcomer. Previously this has always worked. We then release them over a couple of days into bigger and bigger chunks of the place, till they have it all. You'll know from earlier posts that this did not go so well.
|Blondie gets a dust bath in|
|She loves high places like this gate pier.|
|Easter Monday's male Emperor Moth|
She spent the lion's share of Sunday on site, exploring, getting fed grain, bonding with the chickens, dust bathing with them and occasionally interacting with the Guineas Henry and Min. Min basically ignores her but H will at least run at her and try to mount. His technique, though, is hopeless. She willingly squats low with wings spread. He hops on but then seems to just slide off without doing anything. Or he chases her around clinging to her rump feathers with his beak. You'd not call it tender love or even passionate sex. Just once she wandered back round to Una's as if she thinks her late mate might be there. We had hopes that she'd find the pop hole and the chicken house and roost with us at last, This was not to be, and at dusk she once again whirred away across the East Field. We decided to leave her to it.
|George likes to share a bath with Smudge|
|Damsel fly nymph case from the pond today.|
Ultimately we wish she'd get friendly properly with Henry and Min and also start to roost in our chicken house. We hope too that the grief which has her 'buckwheat-ing' so often dulls. It is a heart rending noise and one you can do nothing to relieve. Poor old Blondie.