Summer’s coming

Having installed a barn owl box in the Orchard Cottage garden, the Barn Owl in the carte shed attracted a mate. However, rather than use the newly installed box, we believe the owls have taken up residence in the carte shed box. In the evening the adults have been seen flying in and out of the shed to hunt and squawking has been heard by guests of The Stables, we presume they have chicks. If they do, we will install a camera in the box once the owlets have fledged, so that next year we will know.

The swallows have returned to the sheep shelter and are bringing up their young in a mud nest on a rafter between the front entrance and the shelter light. We have left the tarpaulin in situ on the front of the shelter, so as not to disturb them. The swallows can be seen through the day catching insects on the wing and then swooping into the shelter to take them to their young brood. Below are the 5 young swallows, waiting for breakfast.











We were unable to show our lambs at the Hadleigh Show in May as hoped, as it was held on a Saturday; when we change-over two of our cottages. We hope to show them later in the year at the local agricultural shows at Wayland and at Aylsham, where we showed last year, although we will wait to see how the lambs develop.

Unfortunately we lost one of our rams, Joseph, to a twisted gut in mid-April. I found him in the evening, dead – lying in the front paddock. Even if we had noticed him in distress while he was still alive, the vet said there was nothing that they could have done for him. The condition is most unusual, but once the symptoms appear, it is too late. As it was, we didn’t know the cause of death until the vet carried out a post-mortem the following day. We now have five rams and nine ewes.

Our 17 hens are doing well, and with the warmer weather have increased their laying capacity to between 12 and 16 eggs per day, so we have plenty of eggs for sale.

With the approach of summer, the North Norfolk countryside is alive with wildlife and flora, including these Marsh Orchids spotted nearby at the National Trust property at Felbrigg and in the field opposite our property:

Marsh Orchids 1Marsh Orchids 2