Time marches on.
The day started with a visit to the farm – we are still tidying up as we had an enforced rest over Christmas due to my infection – and continued with a visit to Men in Sheds. They made us tea and offered to share their Lincolnshire sausages. We declined the offer, but donated half a dozen pullet eggs from the bantams, who seem to have sprung into laying action while we’ve been away.
Adjusting the lathe
On the way home we dropped in to feed the ducks at Rufford Abbey, which was the fun part of the day, and pottered home as the light faded. That was where we got our big surprise.
Julia opened her emails and was rendered speechless.
It’s quite strange seeing Julia speechless. she impersonates a goldfish and emits tiny mewing sounds.
I waited patiently, and after she recovered the power of speech she read the email to me.
When I recovered the power of speech she told me off for using bad language.
It seems that one of the teachers who has been visiting the farm has arranged to rent land on the farm to start a group using horticulture and animals for therapy. Sounds vaguely familiar. Also seems like it must have been organised during the time we were being thrown out.
What really stopped us speaking though, were the words “As I understand it, the timing was right for change for all of us”. The timing, as you may recall from previous posts, was not right for us, but was forced on us. However, it seems to be a growing belief within the farmer that he did us a favour as we were working hard and not making a living from the project. That, of course, makes him feel better at throwing the group out. It also highlights the difference in our approaches, as we don’t need a lot of money if we’re doing something worthwhile.
Anyway, now I have recovered the power of speech I’m not going to waste it.
The lake at Rufford was still partly frozen, providing hard standing for a variety of birds. We had bird food with us and, as you can see from the video it inspired some enthusiastic feeding. The light was fading, so we restricted ourselves to the lakeside. I did try a couple of photos of squirrels under the trees but the light was so bad that camera shake rendered them useless.
I’m currently trying to improve my bird identification skills so I had a good look at the gulls and was pleased to find two that were different from the mass of Black Headed Gulls. They were both immature birds so they have lots of brown feathers and their beaks and feet are different colours from the mature adults. I took plenty of photographs and checked them against pictures on a gull ID website. Yes, there are such things.
immature Common gull
Black Headed gul
Immature Herring Gul
One of the gulls seems to be an immature Common Gull. As you may gather from the name, it isn’t a rare gull. The other is an immature Herring Gull. They are even commoner than Common Gulls. It would have been nice to have spotted a rare gull but at least I managed to see them amongst all the others.