Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Today, the definitive answer was provided by Maeve, as clearly she came first-about 3 weeks ago-and her egg arrived today. She announced to the world she was going to lay it and then disappeared into the nest box, like a well brought up girl, reappearing some time later, pleased as punch.
In the nestbox, in a perfect little hollow she had made, was this perfect brown egg. There was general purpose excitement from us and congratulations from the Twittersphere for Maeve-she’s a very modern chicken.
And, as if that was not enough good news, when the driving rain stopped we went out for a short walk, to be greeted by returning swallows and sand martins, calling out their joy at journey’s end. It felt as if they carried the summer in on their wings.
Saturday here was glorious, Sunday returned to winter and today has been Spring again. We spent the Spring like days in the garden, enjoying the sunshine and joyful carolling of birdsong. This is a garden where a Song Thrush entertains us at dawn and for Evensong, a rich, honeyed sound capturing the promise of Spring. Over the river someone has a peacock. It has started calling loudly and I am glad it is half a mile away, and that the Thrush features so much more in our sound scape.
While we have been working, Lofty the beautiful if slightly pesky pheasant who decorates the garden has been drifting about. Lofty hasn’t much of a voice. A sort of chickeny chirrup mostly and an angry rattle if he is startled. Easier to live with than the peacock. He has spent his life being fed by people, having been reared on the shooting estate and now a permanent guest at our bird table, a survivor of 7 months of shooting. Amusingly, he stands under the feeder where the suet balls are and jumps inelegantly to reach them, if the Blue Tits haven’t spilled enough crumbs for him. He is a little too fond of flower petals for my liking, but perhaps he is toughening me up for the impending arrival of our three point of lay chickens? I wonder how he is going to cope with them and how will they react to him?