Duck me! Its Spring! …

21st March – First day of Spring. 1.15am? You have got to me kidding me!!! Eventually returned to bed, then up again 6.30, opened the curtains and there was a Hare sat at the front door. An early mild start, turned into cool drizzle by 9am, but that didn’t stop the Oystercatchers appearing in the field. Wonderful, young Deer up to the garden tonight. Nae so wonderful and unbelievable… the Ducks chased them off!!!

22nd March – and another 3am start! Becoming very tiring now (In every sense). A mild start to the day, pretty much all snow has gone from lower ground and things look messy. They are busy felling in Kindrogan Forest, early starts and quite noisy, but see it is opening up the hillside more below the cemetery, of course I do wonder about the wildlife. Have not walked that part in a while, so will be interesting to see. We had the most incredible birdsong going on this morning.

This morning I noticed McDuck was egg bound this morning, arrgh, would have phoned Dad for advice straight away, but instead decided to prepare warm salty for bath to help it along. Eventually caught McDuck & almost straight away, along came egg & about a pint of duck poo. I was literally covered head to toe!! Oh the joys!
McDuck would then take herself for bath in the warm water, as would I.
Which means am thinking both Ducks are female.

Took a drive to the village, hugs, tears & great service in the shop.

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McDuck in a Bucket …

16th March – Day began with the so called Beast from the East pt2, basically, blowing snow.
Alistair would put the Poultry away to bed, much shouting and swearing, Bruce had attacked him. Yep, welcome to my world!

17th March – A grand Stag was walking round the garden tonight, just got the camera out and then… yep, the Poodle barked!!

18th March – A day of chores and spring cleaning.
Also, I tried Green Tea today, I won’t be rushing to try it again.

Monday 19th March –  -6c start.
Guests were away by 7am and it hadn’t even got to 8am and already the Poodle had had a Parsnip and a tub of moisturiser & Alistair,s Beanie!
It turned out to be the most beautiful morning, sunshine, blue skies, crispy snow. I heard a familiar sound, looked up to see approx 20 Curlew flying right over the house, pure magic.
And … McDuck & McQuack may not be gay after all, seems I found a Duck Egg in the coop this morning. Either that, or they’re crossing with the hens! I will be absolutely cockahoop if we get Ducklings. I texted Alistair with the joyous news. He did not reply, as he did not think it was so joyous.
Talking of the hens, we’ve had 2 eggs this last week. Spring is surely coming.
Resident Deer, Mistle Thrush & Wagtail all active this morning. Siskins have disappeared again.

20th March – Another -6c start, but sunny. Greeted with the fly over of Lapwing
Two unexpected things happened today, from two unexpected sources. One was a hug, the second was a delivery of flowers. Both lovely to receive and very much appreciated.
And HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dawn xx

Two Ponds, large bath & other Birdbath & drinkers and McDuck uses the Tame Sheeps water bucket. I despair!

Songbird Survival Trust …

The snow has lost its fluffiness and is now hard & crunchy. Up to 4c this morning, was positively mafting. I would say a third of it had thawed by the end of this afternoon.

Father was a member of the Songbird Survival Trust, I telephoned them the other day to ask if it was possible for his membership to be transferred to me, this they very kindly sorted out and my membership card & pack arrived today, take a look at their site … https://www.songbird-survival.org.uk

Bruce the Cockerel was nae letting me in the coop to feed them this morning, so just managed to throw a handful in and told him that he would have to man up and step outside if he wanted more feed! 48hrs since they’ve left that coop!
Sure enough, 5min later out he stepped, reckon it was for a minute at the most.

Probably listened to every version of the lake isle of innisfree today, still no decision on favourite version.

Got guest room ready for tonights guests, which was a miracle, as I am having to keep check to see which day it is on a morning, am totally out of sync & am running a day behind! Poor nights sleep again, so felt totally crap when getting up, a sob broke out, but only for a minute, chest aches still and couldn’t manage anymore, but maybe I don’t want to? Maybe that would mean accepting things?? Told Dad I just want him back.
Folk ask how I’m doing, I reply with.. okay, but am not. But reckon folk could be going through their own stuff I am not aware of, also, whilst I’m living this nightmare and am alone with thoughts, I realise that it is one we all have to live through at some point in our lives, just different versions, different coping mechanisms etc. Those who have lived through it, will know it’s the worst, those who haven’t, will be like me a few weeks ago, not even be able to comprehend what a wrench it is, nor will you ever be ready for it when it does come.

 

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Chaffinch at the Gate

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Long-tailed tit

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Blackbird

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Starling

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Siskin, Chaffinch & Goldfinch

 

Another Snowy Day …

Ach, another poor nights sleep and nae up til 8am again.
Was a cold and icy start and so wish Alistair would leave the paths alone, solid ice, was skating everywhere, but not of Winter Olympics standard!
It then became milder & crept back up to zero degrees by midday and then the snow came and came some more.

Pretty much a whiteout and it was a day for indoors and in front of the stove (According to the Poodle)

There were 2 Starlings feeding this am, two turned into 12 at midday and there were fourteen by 2pm. Nae seen any Longtailed tits today, but more Siskins at the feeders.

Alistair arrived home early and snow eased at 3pm. A wee Snowball fight pursued.

4pm, snow falling again, big fluffy flakes, the glen was all silent and still, apart from the odd bird and it was just one of those magical moments.

Ah, nearly forgot! St Valentines Day.
A basket of roses from Alistair arrived yesterday and I owe him at a future date.
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Snow Day …

Last night downloaded a sleep app, which was to record snoring. Mine apparently!!  Think Alistair is exaggerating slightly and seems I’m only managing a couple of hrs per night too, do not believe I am snoring and I think he is hearing Barclay (Or himself)!
Though, I must have eventually fallen asleep, as was so late up and WHOAH, opened the curtains to the most magical morning, not just a blanket of snow, was a great big deep fluffy shag-pile carpet of the wonderful stuff.

Was so keen to get outside, I very nearly forgot to make me morning coffee!!
It was the PERFECT morning and it was time to get the McNikon out.

Late morning, it was time to say goodbye to Stan & Caroline who have been staying with us for the last 3 days. Yet again, we have been blessed, it was a pleasure to host for them and I hope we see them again some day.

On the phone to old friend, when I looked out and saw two people & a dog in the garden. I was a wee bit snarly, apparently they wanted coffee and then I got a wee bit flustered too, but got myself pulled together, apologised etc and the chat in the Gallery with them was good, it actually did me some good.
(NEED to get the Gallery doors open again soon)!

The Chickens were very reluctant to step out of their coop today, only Bruce & Fanny ventured out for a few minutes this afternoon, they were soon back inside mind.
The Ducks actually behaved today.
More Siskins appeared at the Feeders today, reminds me, our guests got a cracking photo of our resident Buzzard.
Majority of the day was spent outdoors.
Hoping sleep will come tonight and that there is more snow on the morro.
Today has been a better day.

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Great Spotted Woodpecker …

Over the last few weeks, I have been watching the comings & goings of Woodpeckers to the feeders.
Definitely 2 different lots nesting, perhaps even 3!

Anyhoo, this mornings coffee rewarded me with such a treat.
Hearing a sound, I follow it and see we have a juvenile in the garden.
He hopped onto the birdbath, called out for feeding (He best make on, as the parents only feed them for approx a week after fledging) and then he decided to take a wee bath, before popping up a tree.
A true delight to watch!

Down in Yorkshire, in my parents garden, they too have had W,oodpeckers visiting the garden, but they raided the nearby nesting boxes and mum & dad witnessed the new hatched young been pulled out by Woody.
They are known for doing this and will raid boxes for eggs too, all to feed.
You can get metal rings for your nest box entrance holes and its a good idea to do so, will help stop Woody taking other chicks!

Will be keeping a look out to see if more juveniles appear
– Karen – x

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Watching & Waiting

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Breakfast Time

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Having a Drink

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Red Top

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Having a wee bath & joined by a Siskin

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Away up a Tree

 

A Lump in my Throat…

With this new February Snow, am keeping an eye open for new Birds etc and am pleased to report that the Yellow Hammer has made an appearance for the first time at Tulloch this morning and that we have two Tree Creepers in the garden.

I have also been watching our Wee Buck on a daily basis.
Other Fallow have now appeared in the field to find food, so was interested to see how our Wee Buck would react to his fellow Deer.
This morning has seen a fresh Stag appear, very grand he is.
After hanging around grazing all morning, the fresh Stag has led the way to find shelter for this afternoon, watching them all jump the fence one by one, there was one hind, a younger Stag and our Wee Buck left, as I type, it looks like the hind and younger Stag are trying to encourage our Wee Buck to jump the fence also and I can’t but help feel a wee lump in me throat, is today the day he leaves us to join the herd???
– Karen – x

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Our Wee Buck

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Another Stag we saw, notice his Antlers!

Loch Tulloch …

Christmas and Hogmanay have just flown on by, it seems to have been nothing but constant work and there hasn’t been enough hours in the day and I ended 2016 feeling a tad frustrated at been behind the schedule in my head, but, today has seen GREAT progress.

AT LAST, work has begun on the wildlife Pond (Well now actually a Loch).
We have a builder here at present and his work required the use of a mini digger, I said brilliant, as I had just the job for it!

Now this pond Loch, has been in my mind for sometime, Alistair and I had discussed it, planned a size etc.
Our builder (Who we shall name as Bob), got the digger into position and would begin the scraping, he had soon gotten round to working round the wee island, I halted proceedings and said I thought that we should go bigger.
Off Bob went to get stakes etc and the new size was marked out, he began to continue and I would go to make us a Coffee.

Coffees in hand, I returned, he had pretty much got it done.
Bob jumped off the digger for his beverage, saw my face and said; ‘You want to go bigger don’t you’?
I said, yes, just a wee bit.
It was 15minutes later, when the pond then became a Loch!

There is lots more work to do yet, but am filled with joy at todays progress and my mind is full of excitement and am already imaging the Flocks of Ducks and Skeins of Geese which will visit us in the future (Unless Barclay claims it as his very own Swimming Pool)
– Karen – x

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The Digger Arrives

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Hmmm, think it needs to be bigger

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Bit bigger still

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Bob

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Yes, I was allowed on said Digger 😃😃😃