Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Not So Much A 'Swan Song' - More Au Revoir to Ennu Farm

While there has been a build up of diary notes, I seem to have got a little chronologically out of kilter but this 'post' should put things back in order? Today's offering will be a little late too (ie tomorrow) as we have to prepare for our departure, and just like the school holidays, when we were kids, the 'last' day was always the best. So be sure to tune in tomorrow!

The sauna last night, while as antiquated as Neanderthal, was as effective as Syrup of Figs. Ille put me through my paces as far as protocol was concerned, and related stories of her childhood when shampoo wasn't heard of in this household. Mother would boil 'black bread', using the liquor as hair-wash and soap was of the carbolic variety. Armed with Silver Birch switch, soap and back scrubber, the idea was to spend as long, or short, as you liked in the 'steamer' then to the bathroom (garden) for a wash down with icy water before a beer back in the kitchen. Returning for a second session was optional but the same procedure was followed. After that we had dinner, accompanied by a Vodka or two, so it's no wonder we forgot to turn the 'moth light' on!

Today started well when I found a small colony of House Sparrows down at Rauno's farm, as I had mentioned yesterday that they seemed hard to come by. In addition a Magpie also appeared and was a second Ennu 'tick' for the day, and that's when yet another Swan flew overhead. This time the camera was at hand, allowing me to secure a few photos, from which I have deduced, rightly or wrongly, that all of these Swans have been Whoopers.

Magnified, the bill structure and colour can be seen and it seems the wedge of yellow is right for Whooper Swan. I would be grateful to hear any conflicting thoughts on this as Bewick's Swan also migrate through this region.

Is it a Whooper, is it a Bewick's or is it Superman?

I seem to have dispelled the Nightingale problem today as well, with glimpses of the birds singing, Nightingale like, here in the woods. The one, or more likely 2, seen were distinctly darker than the species mentioned and seemed to have little rufous in the tail, plus signs of a 'gorget'. So, these sightings endorse the fact that even geographically they should be Sprosser (Thrush Nightingale) so that's what we'll call them.

This male Whitethroat has been elusive, to say the least,

mostly, uncharacteristically, singing from the tops of the highest trees or in the thickest cover.

There were good numbers of Yellowhammer about today.

One of the resident pair of Ravens, looking a little scruffy.

The almost completed Swallow's nest in the old barn.

and a few shots of the interiors of the barns.

Plough and Grass Rake.

Old potato gatherer.

a selection of hand tools.

This square hedge used to be the perimeter of the former Farm House.