Archive of ‘birds’ category

Our broody Orpingtons

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We have had chicken ever since we moved to the South of France, mostly for the eggs. I do always like a handsome rooster in the coop too, just for the pretty sight of it. Our Orpington rooster alas, we found one afternoon dead in the coop, so all we had left was our flock of pretty Orpington chicken. Although we read that this breed has good mothering instincts and certain breeds (Orpington!) are more likely to turn broody in the summer months (although it can happen at any time of the year), we were in for the eggs….

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A marvelous French spring

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It’s been a while, but as tons of family paid us a visit, there wasn’t much time to write. So here’s a quick hello from me, now that spring has sprung upon us in full force. I just had to share these dazzling spring flowers and creepy crawlies we’ve encountered whilst crossing the rejuvenation of nature on our path this last month.

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Fallen in love with Orpington chicken

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Last Saturday was our big day: we could fetch my early birthday present from my kids: our Orpington chicken! We got 7 large, fluffy hens and a magnificent rooster we called Lancelot, they are top-notch reliable chicken. Of course we want to keep them for eggs, but they are known as wonderful pets too (and many see them as excellent meat providers or fair table fowl). Yep, fallen in love!

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Wildlife in the South of France finding a nuthatch Sitta Europaea

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In the early mornings letting our dogs out, we are always greeted by hundreds of different species of birds singing their hearts out. At night we have the nightingales’ concerts, blending in with hundreds of toads singing, announcing us tomorrow it might rain. This week we were in for a shock: a young nuthatch struck the kitchen window (a reminder for me to hang even more wind chimes, so the birds realize in time they can’t fly through that barrier!).

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Meet the bird who’s not afraid: the European robin (Erithacus rubecula)

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I couldn’t believe it, when my husband came in today with these beautiful pictures, as we’re now sure he’s here to stay: the inquisitive and intelligent robin, featured in British and northwestern French folklore, many poems and fables. The Welsh know him as “Bron Rhyddun” who scorched his breast whilst trying to quench the flames of hell. Where Shakespeare teaches them to sing in King Henry Fourth, Robert Burns, the Scottish poet, marries him to a wren. (more…)

Feeding birds in winter

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I do hope you haven’t burned your Christmas tree yet, or thrown away? Just discard it somewhere in your garden and watch how it will become the hiding spot and shelter for birds in winter, whilst you marvel at their fascinating behaviour and wonderful colours. Your children will be enthused about this aspect of wildlife: indoor bird watching with eagle eyes. Look at our main picture, even the wood pecker came to feed.

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