Wednesday, 22 May 2013

All Change.

Yesterday was a day for change here on the farm.   Early in the morning the last of our in-calf heifers went off into the wide world - well into the grass where they began eating the moment their feet touched the ground.

In the afternoon the first of our Summer beast came - twelve Limousin X or British Blue X heifers.  It did not run smoothly.   We over-Summer them for our friend G who brought them across from his farm which is almost opposite oursHe opened the back of his cattle wagon and off they went like rockets down the top pasture, kicking their heels and waving their tails in the air.  The farmer was
busy walling a little way down the road and as G went back home he stopped to have a chat.   They suddenly realised that one of the heifers had come back and was waiting to get into the wagon!

This particular heifer had been rejected by her mother last year and G had bucket-fed her throughout the Winter.   No way did she want to leave her 'Dad' - this was her first taste of the big wide world and she didn't like it at all.   She had broken down one fence and jumped a wall and a gate to get back to where she could hear his voice.   He took her back home with him and put her in a small paddock with one other heifer he had kept back and now she seems happy.

Then early in the evening another eight cattle arrived from friend B - four heifers and four steers.  They were released into the barn pasture and again they went off at a fair crack.

So that is the reason you are getting no photographs of said beasts - they are far too flighty to approach - I will give them a week or two to settle down.

As the farmer was walking our dogs round this morning he came across a hen pheasant with a group of chicks in one of the fields.  They all appeared to be thriving and we are hoping it is the ones which hatched in our front garden (we have found the nest under a hydrangea bush - a lot of broken egg shells).  I was worried about her ability to lead them out but the farmer said she would fly over the wall and then call them through the gap under the gate - seems she may well have done so.   It is a fact that these ground-nesting birds always lead their young away from the nest site very quickly so as not to attract predators.

I understand from a farmer friend that the curlew are already nesting - should the farmer come across a nest I will photograph it for you - we have plenty of curlew who nest around here but their nests are quite hard to find.   What a busy time it is for the wild things.   Judging from the alarm calls from a couple of blackbirds when I hung washing out yesterday morning, there are baby blackbirds about.   And we have two male yellow-hammers eating the seed at our bird table, so they must be nesting nearby.   The cold weather doesn't seem to discourage them one little bit - they just seem to be getting on with it.

   

13 comments:

Arija said...

I think the birds are very sensible just to get on with it . . . I had to laugh with the Limousin Xs, they are quiet as lambs at home, but transport them and they go berserk. So much going on at your the farm at the moment.

Heather said...

And I thought that farmers were not sentimental! Lovely story.
How wonderful to have yellow-hammers feeding at the bird table. Each time we go out of the front door we hear the baby bluetits in the nest box just above it. It is a lovely time of year in spite of the strange weather at times.

Dave King said...

Yes, I do envy you your yellow-hammers. The rest of the narrative is totally fascinating.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

I love farm stories - the lonely cow was a wonderful one. I'm glad some pheasant babies survived so far.

angryparsnip said...

Wonderful new heading photo ! What are the fields of yellow ? Very beautiful.
I just love these stories of the different winter and summer animals at your farm.

cheers, parsnip

Crafty Green Poet said...

how lovely to have yellowhammers visiting your bird table, I had hoped to see some today in the fields (see my latest blog post!) but they weren't around....

Rachel said...

This looks like a Norfolk landscape of fields of oilseed rape. Very nice.

Loren said...

I envy your Curlews, a bird I've only seen twice since I started birding, and never near home.

I had never heard of a yellowhammer before, but they look a lot like the sparrow I have nesting in my back yard.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes Rachel, you are indeed correct. It is a rape field in Norfolk - they are everywhere where as here in North Yorkshire they are few and far between. I love the bright yellow on a dull day.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Loren - a yellowhammer is about sparrow sized but the cock has a completely yellow head and neck - startling so in the breeding season. He is a lovely bird and country lore says that his song is 'a little bit of bread and no cheese.'

Jane and Chris said...

Hi (waves) nice to meet you...thanks for visiting! Where do you stay when you visit Canada? We love everything about Canada(except the seal hunt and winter)especially our own little piece of Ontario countryside. I'm wondering if your curlews are the same as our plovers,they nest on the ground on our front meadow and have the most beautifully haunting call.
Take care
Jane x

acornmoon said...

I enjoy reading about life on your farm and always find it comforting, hard to explain why that should be.
I am relieved to hear that the heifer has settled and the blackbirds are nesting, all is well with the world!

Twiglet said...

Thanks for visiting my blog - my hill view is on the border between Shropshire and Powys - Corndon & Roundton. It is lovely countryside - not quite as dramatic as the Yorkshire Dales which I love! Great to hear about curlews nesting - I hear one occasionally but rarely see any these days. Jo x