Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The kneeling sheep

Tuesday 4th September 2012


At first light this morning, this mother roe deer and her fawn allowed me remarkable close approach. Fortunately a large clump of grass hid my approach along the dyke and the wind was blowing freshly. They were taking a morning drink, but when they saw me they went bouncing off over the fields. Do they have supersprings in their hooves?


Bird news from the night before of a possible Short-billed Dowtcher in Weymouth had me on tenterhooks all day. To go would be a bit of a risk as it's identity was far from sure and a four and a half hour journey each way needed a bit more of a guaranteed result at the end of it. I'd seen one before, over in Ireland, but this bird would be only the second ever in Britain and I didn't see the first back in 1999.

But there was birding to be had on the smallholding today with the appearance of not one, not two but three smart male blackcaps around the pond, along with a chiffchaff. These birds came in overnight for sure. It is amazing how we get these mini falls of birds here. I am sure they must travel in small groups.

Anyway, on to the subject of this post, the kneeling sheep. Our two lovely Zwartbles came from an organic farm, but sadly a few of the sheep were long overdue a hoof trim. We had done this when we picked them up, but Number Ten's hooves were in a right state. We had treated them with antiseptic spray again, but by this morning he was clearly in some discomfort, preferring to kneel rather than stand and limping slightly when he did walk.

So we captured him and spent a good half hour tidying up his hooves. I must say, I think I did an expert job. Let's hope it works and Number Ten appreciates it, as my leg muscles are now very sore from gripping on to a wriggling sheep for so long. So far he doesn't seem to be holding it against us and, if anything, is friendler than before.
I'm not sure who is grimacing more for the camera!













 

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