For the past few weeks it has been too wet for me to walk in the fields but yesterday they had dried up considerably so the farmer and I had a walk after lunch. I had been eager to go because we have six hen pheasants who spend most of their day under our bird feeders and I wanted to trace their path.
They roose in our plantain (see photograph) every night, sitting on the lower branches. When the farmer takes the dogs for their evening walk as the sun goes down, he sees all six, walking in single file down the side of the hedgerow towards their roost. And when he takes the dogs at sun-up in the morning he seems the same six walking in single file up the hedgerow to the bird feeders. I have been trying to get a photograph of them but it is useless through double glazing and each time I creep out of the back door and peep round the corner they go discreetly under the holly trees until I have gone.
We saw that a rabbit's nest had been pulled out and completely destroyed in the plantain, most likely by a fox, so those hens are wise to roost up in the branches out of his reach.
There is still wood to be gathered, wood which was felled by the Winter gales. The farmer has pulled it out of the beck so that it can dry in the sun but any day now he will bring it into the shed to be sawn into logs on the next wet day.
I hope you can see the pulled out nest in the photograph. The rabbit population is very active again after months when conditions were so wet that many of them would have been flooded out. Not that there seems to be any shortage of rabbits around, as Tess and Tip know only too well. In the little barn at the bottom of the pasture we seem to once again have a family of sandy-coloured ones - very distinctive to us and probably to that fox too.