All about our birds this week…

More cold, wet wintery weather again this week – it’s starting to feel like the winter will never end!  

Of course, nature is much more savvy than we humans.  The plants, the insects, bees and the birds all know that Spring is round the corner.  We are running a staff competition to see who can spot the most bizarre nest locations as our local birds race ahead with nest building – the winner so far goes to a wren who is making a nest in a string of garlic hanging in the shed!  

So the wild birds are gathering and mating – the rooks are staking their claims to prime real estate in the Rookery by the lake, the Goldfinches have returned and are roosting in the cork oak by the bakery – even the coots have returned to the duck pond once again as if to show our domesticated ducks and geese how to do things!  Let’s hope they all raise lots of young this year!

Certainly, our ducks, geese, guinea fowl, turkeys and chickens all know that now is the time.  The males are in full plumage, the hens have started laying and for the first time in several years we are not having to buy eggs in.  Plenty of hen and duck eggs for the kitchen, the bakery and the shop – even a few guinea fowl eggs for the more adventurous!  Do come to see all our birds over the weekend: the ducks and geese are in the main veg patch near the shop on active and relentless slug patrol and are great fun to watch; the chickens, turkeys and guineas are in the woods and out foraging all day.  

So lots of eggs for the bakery over the coming weeks in meringues, cakes and ices. Lots of chicken and duck on the menu in the restaurant – Thai runner duck curry again this week together with an unctuous, traditional Coq au Vin made with the first set of broilers we got from Susan and Phil, our friends who raise a huge variety of poultry at their family run small holding near Glastonbury.  We have today taken delivery of 30 leghorn point of lay chickens and 30 broilers – do come and have a look as they settle in over the weekend.

Also a huge thanks to Susan and Phil as they have donated 5 new Muscovy ducks to the farm – in turn, we will donate the price of the ducks to the fund to save the Long Compton Abattoir and to add to the money we hope to raise from the St Davids Day Dinner club next Friday – a feast of Cotswold Lion Lamb, Leeks and Caerphilly Cheese.  Many of you have already booked places for Friday – we do though still have a few tickets available – you can book by clicking on the link below.