'Springwatch' at East Jordeston Cottages

It’s been a busy time at East Jordeston over the past couple of months. Our seven Jacob ewes have given birth to eleven lambs (which began during the winter snows of April) and thankfully this year the lambs have successfully grown passed the ‘danger’ stage, so I can breathe a sigh of relief that I won’t have to bottle feed a ‘molly’ through the summer months. Our small flock has the addition of an extra two ewe lambs and a whopping nine ram lambs!! Not good! We’ll have to have a word with that ram, Rossetti, who came for a visit at the end of last year. We and our guests will no doubt enjoy the antics of the lambs during the coming weeks and then the boys will go off to market in the autumn.

Phil and I are avid followers of the BBC Springwatch programme which began again last evening and we’ve realised that we can offer entertainment of a similar kind at our own ancient farmstead. Recently we enjoyed the rare sighting of a red kite which stayed around the woodland close to us for about two weeks – usually this glorious bird is seen around mid Wales and not this far south. Sadly it has now moved on but it was exciting to see – especially as I assumed it was a very large ‘brown-red’ buzzard! We have regular sightings of buzzards and our resident cock pheasant is rearing a family closeby.

The holes in the crumbling fascia boards on our old farmhouse provide charitable homes to the twittering families of house sparrows, and wrens and blue tits find their favourite places to set up home in our shrubs.

Guests are often reporting sightings of tawny and barn owls at dusk and Mr Fox and the Badger family leave their tracks and sometimes wisps of their coats on the fencing wire while trotting the same paths each evening.

One of our favourite sightings is the return of the swallows each year and after a vacant nest in 2007 we have a pair who have set up home in the perfect ‘no repair required’ nest prepared on our electric meter box inside our porch. Mummy swallow laid 5 eggs last week and although she darts off the nest when guests or our cat Jinx comes to the front door, she is soon back to keep them warm.

Next time…… the bats!


Springtime approaches

Pembrokeshire is beginning to awaken from its winter hibernation with birds pairing up for nest building and our mild climate encouraging the shrubs to start budding. Here at East Jordeston we have our blaze of spring yellow provided by our much loved national flower emblem – the lovely daffodil and whilst some varieties of the daffodil were in bloom in this area even before Christmas, we are always happy to have our ‘show’ for 1st March – St David’s Day.

Traditional fare like bowls of warming cawl, local bread and cheeses is on offer for the visitor at this time followed by the ever popular Welsh cakes or a slice of barabrith. So passionate are we, the Welsh to celebrate St David’s Day that Tom (our son) who lives in Helsinki will be meeting up with fellow ex-pats at the Finnish-Welsh Society gathering on Saturday and will be tucking into a feast of Welsh goodies. There is at this moment, a batch of Welsh cakes (for Tom’s graphic design office!) and one of Sandra’s very popular barabriths winging it’s way to Finland for the ‘best barabrith 2008 tasting’! It always seems to go down well with our guests here so we’ll let you know how it matches up in a ‘serious’ competition. Wish us luck!


Late Autumn visitor

As the final leaves fall from the trees here in Pembrokeshire we are thankful for a pleasant autumn and our guests have enjoyed some magical days of mellow sunshine. John, our gardener has managed to put the gardens to bed for the winter (during mostly dry weather) and bonfires have made short lives of the wilting leaves and prunings.
Our surplus lambs and ewes have gone off to market and the whole cycle is hopefully put in motion again with the recent arrival of a visiting Jacob ram, Rossetti – a fine figure of a fellow with wonderful curling horns! Naturally he has very quickly made friends with our seven ewes so all being well we look forward to some new arrivals next Spring.


Early Autumn wildlife treat

A real wildlife treat is in store for anyone visiting Pembrokeshire during September and October. A walk along the coast path from Marloes beach to Martins Haven will reveal the grey seal mums and their gorgeous new pups on their favourite secluded breeding places. This image shows four pups with one mum just checking us out as she comes out of the sea. The seals choose these inaccessible beaches because of the privacy they give so it’s best not to stay too long spying on them. Nevertheless the experience is wonderful. It’s not too late to catch a peep this year or why not make a note in the calendar for next year to visit us at this special time.


Approaching Autumn

As we say goodbye to August and a fabulously sunny Bank Holiday weekend here in Pembrokeshire our summer guests wind their ways home with warm memories of wonderful family holidays spent enjoying the freedom of our glorious beaches and all the other attractions that our beautiful county has to offer. We’ve enjoyed meeting new guests, making new friends and welcoming back our lovely regular families and friends.
During September, Pembrokeshire slips into a more laid back mood and the approaching autumn brings out the ‘harvest mouse’ in me as I gather the fruits of summer labour from my greenhouse and garner the blackberries and mushrooms from the fields and hedgerows. It is a wonderful time to take a short break (or more) at East Jordeston, to wind down and relax after the frenzy of summer. Just look what the coastal walking offers – this beautiful scented carpet of colour was captured on a coastal walk this week. A photograph hardly does it justice – visit us and see for yourselves!