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!