Today’s Good Friday : we have, all of a sudden, arrived at Easter. Our first lamb of 2018 was born this afternoon : she will have to be nick-named Girl Friday !
I found her resting on a dry patch of ground, sheltered from the cold east wind, and basking in warm spring sunshine. Her mum was grazing close-by guarding her jealously … and judging from the umbilical cord still trailing from her back end – but as yet no placenta, I suspect the little girl might yet be joined by a twin. I shall see tomorrow morning.
Here’s a look back over the past week and more.
I’ve been working on the croft most of every day, making a final push to get the croft fencing completed before the end of the financial year, before lambing, before work in the walled garden has to take precedence.
Down near the shore, our gaggle of six Embden geese have come through the winter in good health, thanks largely to their finely-honed sense of timing : they know my routine better than I do, managing to be wherever and whenever food is being put down for sheep or hens or whoever : for heaven’s sake, they’ll even fly from one thieving expedition to another!
A week or more ago, one of the girls was missing from the raiding party : three mornings in a row. I found her on a neighbouring derelict croft, within – the ruins of an old stone cottage or byre, and the gaggle’s favourite nesting site. This particular ruin had, at some time, been used as a dump for waste buidling materials, which seemed to me a very unsavory choice for nesting. Not so, presumably, to the first goose to set up camp there, ten years ago : one corner seemed to have already be in use as a goose nest : surely those white round things just below the encroaching grass were goose eggs, weren’t they? Investigating, D and I discovered a heap of discarded white rainwater down-pipes : the radius of which approximated to that of a goose egg! Over the years since, the grass has been defeated by trampling, and the absurdity is all the more apparent.
This year, one of the younger geese, together with her gander, was first of the three couples to set up in the old ruin. Of course she chose on top of the pipes – even though two other good nesting sites in other corners were available. A few days later, Mr & Mrs Jackson thought, too, that it was time to get on with the work of life, Mr Jackson shooed off the nesting goose and established his good lady on the premium nest site – she also took possession of the four warm eggs already in it! Over the following there was a constant argy-bargy between the two couples , but at last peace has settled , with the two girls sitting side-by-side on the nest – and the unknown number of eggs layed between them. Mr Jackson stays nearby, on higher ground, watching over both.