I think it is fair to say that it has been a very windy February, with storm after storm after storm and with another gale blowing outside while I’m writing this and more forecast for the next few days. My new weather station recorded a 67 mph gust at one point early February and regularly 40 mph + wind speeds during the last couple of weeks.
We also had quite a bit of snow, but it only lasted for a couple of days; thankfully nothing like last winter when the snow was very deep and lasted forever! We’re heading into March, so let’s hope that spring won’t be take too long to start, at least my hellebores is flowering and the daffodils are nearly flowering too.
The chickens have a new game; musical chairs! At night they need to perch because that’s what chickens do, normally. I say, normally because some of the chickens, mainly Hank, Hetty and Betty are very headstrong and refuse to perch, instead wanting to sleep in their nest box. This makes the nest box and their bums very dirty (chickens don’t go out to use the loo at night, so basically do it while sleeping, yuck!), so we’ve been trying to get them to perch by changing the height, changing the location of the air holes, adding a mini ramp and even leaving an obstacle in the next boxes. So, now they have decided to play musical chairs: some are perching, one is below the ‘perchers’, one is in nestbox A, the other one is in nestbox B and when we open the hatch at night to check if they are all in, they change position! Maybe I should start playing music too?!
Besides playing musical chairs, they have also decided to start blackmailing our cat Mackie. You see, Mackie is a spoiled little cat, who is very fussy about the food he eats. He would only lick the jelly from the chunks and leave the chunks most of the time, but not always, so now the chickens came up with this plan: blackmail Mackie into leaving the chunks! I’m sure this is what Hank the Tank said to Mackie:”You leave the chunks, we leave you in peace and if you don’t, we know where to find you!” Because, believe it or not, chickens absolutely love cat food!
Good job, the chickens haven’t learned how to use a cat flap, yet...
Have you seen any birds during the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch? I realised that by watching birds for one hour, you see a lot more birds than what you normally would see when watching for say, 15 minutes. I was chuffed to even spot 2 crossbills in the last 10 minutes of my birdwatch! This is the first time I’ve spotted these in our garden. Some days later I also spotted a nuthatch on the bird feeder. The last time we had one in the garden was in 2017. Nuthatches are still a rare sight in Central Scotland as they originally only occurred in England, but nuthatches are migrating north and since 1989 they first bred in the Borders and since the 2000’s that they have occasionally been seen in Central Scotland. According to iNaturalist the most northerly sighting is Blair Atholl, which not that far from us, so you understand my delight at seeing this bird again.