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 ours. He 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.