Spring feels like it’s sprung – and if it’s not obvious by the blooming amelanchier and the early spring flowers, then it will be from the sheer cacophony of birds shouting at one another about whatever it is that is on their minds at this time of year (no prizes for guessing what that might be). It is great to be out in the garden, planting seeds, and the accompaniment birds and their songs makes you feel good to be alive.
Mind you, we did have a couple of less welcome avian visitors. A few weeks ago I was shooting the breeze with Tony from down the road, when a local farm worker of Easter European extraction appeared, clutching a large fowl by the legs. The bird looked pretty chilled as its captor asked if anyone had lost a chicken. We said no, but suggested he try the cowboy over the road – which he duly did. No one was in, and he came back to explain that if he could not find the owner, he would have to slaughter it, in view of the then on-going bird flu scare.
It was only then I realised that this “chicken” had what looked like deely boppers on its head. “It’s a peacock” I said. So Tony and I sent the Pole and Peacock (sounds like a trendy new pub) back up the hill to where we know such fowl have previously resided, although the human residents have now moved. We didn’t want any of that foreign scum round our way, we thought. (Although we were quite happy to welcome Eastern European workers any day).
Three weeks later, and the peacock had returned – but this time he brought a friend (and I don’t mean the migrant worker). The pair hung around the hen run for a few days, though we haven’t seen them for a while and rumour has it that they provided some nourishment for local foxes. It’s the circle of life, I guess.
Meanwhile the more traditional harbingers of spring are arriving with the first swallow spotted on 1st April, and the first “home” swallows swooping in and out of the cow stall on the 5th. I thought April Fools Day might be early for the Swallows, so I googled “first swallow” to find out. I re-phrased the question to get links that were related to ornithology, and found the RSPB sight which says swallows start arriving in April. So this one was indeed very prompt. Elsewhere there are Chiffchaffs doing their thing and sparrows tussling over females’ affections, while even the ducks over the road were at it yesterday. Made me want to re-read the book “Fup”….
It’s all kicking off.