Well, the lambs that should have been arriving on boxing day turned up early! Twins were arriving as the last turkey was being collected at 5.30pm on the 23rd of December. All lambs are doing well and they’re now joined by lots more. Today (Jan 10th) saw some pleasant sunshine so all but the youngest lambs escaped the barn and got to experience grass for the first time. It was only for a few hours but it was enough to imagine spring is not too far off.
In between my duties as assistant shepherd (the role mainly consists of carrying hay and straw as well as catching and holding/hanging on to ewes that need a closer look) I’ve had the chance to get stuck into some books that arrived at Christmas. One such book is the Wild Guides ‘Britain’s Birds’ book, this will replace my old faithful “Birdwatchers Pocket Guide” that I had for my birthday when I was 9 – it has served me well. Its replacement has a section drawing attention to birds of conservation concern and while cross referencing these with the farm bird list I realize that 32 of the farms 75 bird species are in trouble and 14 of them are on the Red list meaning they are in real problems. Its worth remembering that some birds that we think of as being common have declined seriously, since 1977 House Sparrows have reduced by 71%. On that note I’m going to fill the bird feeders and fix up another nest box.