Spring is just around the corner … or is it?
The snowdrops are out and the frogs are hopping around the pond looking for mates, primroses are in bud and daffodils are peeping tantalising flashes of yellow ready to blossom into sunshine flowers. Then, just when you think Spring is finally on the way, the #BeastfromtheEast arrives and we’re in the middle of a snowstorm again. Only in England!
But it won’t be long before the primroses are out in profusion and daffodils and tulips will be swaying gently in the breeze. The birds are already dressed in their Spring colours and singing their Spring songs joining in the dawn chorus – and they know that the snow will soon be gone.
The hens don’t mind the snow, they are always eager to rush out into the fresh air and scratch around outside. The Spice Girls (our ex-battery hens – see previous post) have settled in and have become part of the family – at least two of them have – one didn’t survive the move and another managed to get lost somewhere – but Ginger and Meg (Nutmeg) now rush out to greet me every morning. They seem to be so grateful now they have settled into a ‘normal’ lifestyle. They still haven’t got many feathers (I tell them they will freeze in this snow but they take no notice) but their feathers should grow back eventually. They still don’t perch at night – they settle down in one of the nest boxes whilst the other hens roost in the rafters. But apart from that, they act like ordinary chickens and are part of Dillon’s flock (he’s the cockerel and definitely rules the roost).
When it’s cold and snowy the wild birds seem so grateful for the food on the bird table. I always thaw the water in the birdbath if it’s frozen and put extra food out. I watch them for hours – the long-tailed tits arrive all of a flutter, twittering to each other, the tiny wren, and of course the robin, showing off his best red waistcoat. We’ve seen lots of different birds this winter – even a bullfinch graced us with his presence for a few days.
Published in the March edition of the Whitchurch Gossip