Today, sporadically, warm sunshine bakes the stone walls of the kitchen garden. Tens of years of weather has caused the lime rendering between the stones to crumble and it is lovely to watch the sparrows who have long since colonised cosy, south facing holes.
Scores of noisy, would-be parents are fluttering passed the kitchen window, beaks chock with twigs and softer materials. They bicker constantly and I fancy I know what they're saying....
..........I was here first,.... Yes, I may have been gone a while, but that's my place and I put that feather in there......... You must be new to the area.... our family have nested in that hole for generations, hop it!
.............There's just half a day to go plus one more night: ..... Archie and his two adopted sisters were beginning to look stir-crazy in their day nursery, so I've imposed a chicken lock-down. The three youngsters have joined the others.
For the past two nights and two days all 14 have been cooped up in an effort to create one flock. The pecking order (funny to really understand the origin of such phrases) will no doubt be sorted by the time I let them out to free range tomorrow morning and hopefully the three newbies will comprehend where their new home is and wander home to bed with the rest each night, after free roaming all day. I do hope so.
To be honest I fully expect to be wandering the garden with a torch on Saturday night, seeking out three confused chickens. This may prove more of a nightmare than previous integrations, due to Archie's colouring, so much easier to find light coloured hens in the dark....... Still, the clocks change soon, so the longer evenings may prove a blessing to my night vision.
For past chicken herdings please click here! or here!! or here!!!