The chair I sit in to watch TV looks out to the garden bird feeders and while watching a film the other day I was distracted by a Parakeet that was hunkered down in a cleft of the cobnut tree. There were no other Parakeets around which was unusual and this one looked odd as it was not moving. After about half an hour another Parakeet flew in and went over to the dormant one and gently got hold of it with its beak and pulled at it, very obviously trying to get it to move off with him. It was interesting and touching to see this level of concern between birds outside of the breeding season and even more moving when the dormant bird fell off its perch, showing that its left foot was completely missing and its right foot was hanging useless and deformed. There was nothing I could do to help this poor bird as his wings were working well and he flew off and I haven't seen it again but they rely on their feet to grip while they feed so I don't expect it will survive for long :(
My mother is beginning to settle in to her care home a bit so I have been able to get out to do some livestock volunteering again. During my absence I seem to have lost the ability to stay on my feet and have managed to trip over in brambles, fall down a rabbit hole, slither down a bank, trip over absolutely nothing and on several occasions slip over in mud :)))))
One of the worst places for catching me out is an area of Hutchinsons Bank called Slimming Down. This has recently had the biggest scrape dug out that I have ever seen. It was done using heavy excavators so, with the recent wet weather, it is now quite gloopy to walk in and very slippery, especially the approach to the field. This is unfortunate as after Christmas we need to move the sheep off this field and we won't be able to get the trailer down, so will have to put up loads of netting to run the sheep up...oh well that's what us volunteers are for :) The scrapes have been put there for plants like Kidney Vetch to grow in as they don't compete well with other plants. Hutchinsons is very rich in Kidney Vetch which is the host plant of the struggling Small Blue butterfly so it is probably worth while if it doesn't get infested with ragwort first.
It has been lovely to get out and about again and over the last couple of weeks I have helped with....
A pony move....this is Rufus enjoying his new pasture on a very cold frosty morning...
A goat move....our trainee seems to have a special relationship with our notoriously difficult to catch goats, as he caught them first time...
And hoof trimming of this year's female lambs. Unfortunately the very wet weather in early summer and the present wet weather has taken its toll on their hooves all of which needed a lot of attention to try to prevent future problems.
The only sheep whose feet were fine was Granny Alice. This is an older and very sweet natured Jacob that we put in with the lambs after they are weaned to basically act as granny and show them what to do, e.g. come when called with a bucket of nuts to make catching them easier...she's my favourite :)
Now for a little Christmas amusement.....
It was a cold snowy day when Tiny Tim, wrapped up nice and warmly, was taken to visit the sheep in a nearby frozen field, "Happy Christmas sheep," the little boy called out to them.
The cold sheep were not amused and crossly replied, "BAAAAAAAAA...Hum Bug!!"
Well I found it funny:)))))) The poor sheep just wanted to go in a cosy baaa..rn :)
Have a Very Happy Christmas and a
Great New Year