|Cold and frosty start|
One thing I did want pictures of was the mistletoe growing on the trees at the side of the road in one particular area. At first I though they were old nests, but Dave used to see it when he lived in Kent so recognised it straight away. Masses of it there was, like huge great footballs attached to branches. Unfortunately the combination of strong, low sun and mucky windows meant pictures were a bit of a let down.
|No idea what this was|
|A huge flock of geese flew over when we stopped for diesel|
We hit a new bit of four lane motorway....we had forgotten how boring this sort of road is....and there was even less traffic. It meant we made good time and found the village at about the time we had planned. 11 am. Got out to phone the chap to find we were being watched by a very cute dog on a roof! We had actually pulled up close to the house we were looking for and were hailed from the balcony. We were greeted, at an ordinary but extremely neat yard, by three very friendly and gorgeous French bulldogs. Lovely to see dogs in first class condition running about the yard loose, and unusual over here. We were taken through a double glazed door into some outbuildings and from there to the land with many poultry houses on it.
|Eat your heart out, you poor people travelling the M6, 56 or 25....|
|There are a lot of quarries in the area|
|Ore being moved by cable car|
|Someone's watching you....|
|As we drove off another cute little dog joined this one|
All the birds had been kept in so that they could catch our three, which were in two pens. As soon as they were in the crate doors were opened everywhere and we were soon engulfed in a feathery mass of chickens of all shapes and sizes, ducks, geese, turkeys, guineafowl, pigeons. All living quite happily and making their way between enclosures. We were admiring some chickens, but a cloud of Light Sussex caught my eye. They are large meat/egg birds and quite striking with their mostly white bodies, black necks and tails and underwings. Not sure how it happened but we ended up with a young trio in the back of the car!
It was a shame that we had to make tracks soon afterwards, but we did come away with a jar of pickled walnuts and a crate of seed potatoes, and in return we left them with some spiced pumpkin cake from our picnic. We shall be swapping recipes!
|Well, pickle me walnuts!|
We missed our turning on the way back and took the scenic route to the supermarket to pick up sugar for the neighbours, but still got back in good time to settle everyone in and introduce the ducks to each other. Good job they are a friendly breed. The Sussex have a pen to themselves, mainly because we don't want them cross breeding but also because the cockerel will be so big. We may let him have a couple more of the stronger hens later.
|Handsome bunch. They're very large!|
|And then there were 7|
All have settled well. There is a crowing contest between the new boy and Dandy, and one of the new ducks (Coco, the brown one) has a bit of an identity crisis, she came out of a pen full of chickens and has tried to get in with our bunch. But they are having none of it and she is gradually spending more time with the ducks. And, of course, she sleeps in the duck house.
|Coco has an identity crisis...but the chooks are putting her right|