Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Housekeeping

We haven't seen the bluebirds at the bird box for awhile. Admittedly, we don't have a lot of time to watch, but it appeared that our bluebird pair had moved on.

Sunday I noticed movement in that direction and watched through our bedroom window. A pair of violet-green swallows appeared to be checking out the place!
While we would have loved to host a bluebird family, these swallows are also beautiful bug-eaters. I never saw the female actually enter the nestbox, though, so I wondered if the hole was too small.

Yesterday the swallows were back. Suddenly I saw a small bird make a beeline past the swallows and disappear into the nest box! Was Mrs. Bluebird using the box, or had someone else moved in?

This afternoon while waiting for my farrier/shearer to arrive, I watched the box again. I saw two small birds fly in, and one leave. It was hard to track it into the nearby tree, and I didn't get a good look at it. But I think it might have been a chickadee. I'll have to keep watching, and let you know. (It is very tempting to lift the lid and peak, but I don't want to scare a bird off eggs.)

So yes, we wrangled sheep this afternoon. I couldn't have done it without Brian's help; we had to herd, catch, halter, lead in and out, take off and put on coats, and of course clean up. Finally, before turning the four wethers back out into the wooded lot with Barbados, I trimmed their feet, since that is the hardest group to catch.

Handsome Blake, the baby daddy
Blake's rooed mid-side sample
I now have five sheared fleeces to skirt, in addition to the two fleeces I rooed earlier. Benny was very sticky, so after Troy struggled through shearing his belly, I opted to scissor-shear the rest of him later rather than have his beautiful hogget fleece butchered. Blake, Sarai, Vienna, Bali, Blaise, and Bing all showed a clear separation at the rise, so I will roo them as I am able. Spreading the fleece work out over time works better with my work schedule anyway.

That's it from a tired shepherd at . . .

3 comments:

Nancy Kay said...

Birds are so fun to watch...and I'm glad some little ones decided to take up residence in the birdhouse.

You have been one BUSY shepherd!!

LannieK said...

I am just about ready to given up on blue birds :-/ I keep hopin' Last year the swallows nested in the blue bird house & they were really fun to watch. Your fleeces are gorgeous!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Yay shearing :-D. I'm trying for some purple martins this year, but so far, no luck. Hopefully some young birds will find the house later this summer and remember for next year.