Sunday, 4 March 2012

Moorhens and More Hens.

Sunday 4th March 2012
A deceptive start to the day.
Unbelievable! I spend 16 months scanning distant banks of rivers and dykes in an attempt to get Moorhen onto the farm list. Eventually I get a fleeting glimpse, in flight, of a bird several fields away. On the farm list, but firmly by dint of the rule which states that a bird is countable if it is seen from the farm.
So what should happen this morning, barely a week after that first sighting ...Yes, you've guessed.

It ambled nonchalantly across the corner of the goose paddock and disappeared into the base of the road hedge. 

More Hens
Meanwhile, Elvis continues to sit dutifully on her six eggs. Unfortunately, they should have hatched on 29th February, so hope is fading fast for them. You wouldn't necessarily expect all of the eggs to hatch, but none is a bit of a disaster. I don't really know why. There could be several reasons - initial fertility levels or mishandling through the post being the usual reasons. However, I can't help wondering if that night that dipped to 16 below, with the following day staying well below zero, may have affected the eggs. Elvis must have struggled to keep the eggs up to temperature during this spell.

Anyway, another opportunity has arisen to increase the chicken flock. The Reception teacher at Sue's school has an incubator and likes the children to see chicks hatch every year. So I ordered half a dozen Cream Legbar eggs last week, which arrived the next day. If these make it through to become grown up hens, they will lay lovely greeny-blue eggs for us.
Today, I successfully bid for some Cornish Indian Game eggs on e-bay. These are the breed which I hope to keep for meat birds.

The Holbeach St John's Parish Church Meal
Today's weather went from foul to fouler! Constant rain all day developed into wet snow. To be honest, this was very welcome as the ground was becoming worryingly dry and thoughts of last year's drought were starting to enter my head. One day won't fix this, but it does help. The geese seemed to like it as they explored every newly formed puddle.

So it was a good day to not work outside. Instead, Sue was booked on a course to make a felt hat while I would represent us at my first Parish Church meal.
I would never normally attend this type of event, but it is very important for us that we become part of the local community. These traditional get togethers are a great way to meet people, and when in Rome...
It's fair to say that I was one of the youngest people at the meal, and I think that a newby was probably noticed (in a nice way) by almost everybody. I must admit to not closing my eyes during grace - I've never been religious by any means, but do recognise the part that such institutions play in keeping communities together. Besides, I had a lovely meal in good company.
My new life is very different to my old one!

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