Last year by the end of March we had Swallows skimming over the fields refueling on insects after their flight from South Africa, this year I wouldn’t be surprised if they all turned round and headed straight back home! The snow has at least melted now but not before the east wind forced it to the back of all the livestock sheds and through every gap. We still can’t work out how it got through a small hole and then into an electrical box! Thawing water troughs and carrying water is a bit of hassle but we must spare a thought for the northern farmers who were still digging sheep out of snowdrifts after 10 days and had to get deliveries from army helicopters! Even locally the milk tankers were failing to get to farms, in Brinkworth one young farmer had to dump 5000L of organic milk and in Purton another farm took to social media to get all his milk distributed to locals.
The lambs are all well grown now so the cold is no problem but the calves born during the cold spell were treated to calf coats and strategically placed bale windbreaks to keep them warmer.
I’m sure spring is on the way as the other day my spirits were lifted by the song of two Skylark high in the air and trying to drown out the drone of the motorway. Perched in the hedge nearby a pair of Yellow Hammers with the unmistakable call “a little bit of bread and no cheese”. The sound of the Yellow hammer is easy to pick out but spotting the vocalist is harder but worth the wait.