Almost oven-ready!

Last Saturday certainly lived up to its official status as the first day of spring. The weather was mild and calm, conditions which seem to produce  some kind of magnetic pull on both of us to the great outdoors. Well, outside at least! There’s always a seemingly endless list of  repairs and gardening tasks, but with only birdsong to enhance the peace and quiet, what better way to spend a day! To me, the robin’s song is the most melodious and recognisable, as he perches in a tree announcing his presence. Now a duck isn’t particularly melodious, but MacRae is certainly announcing his presence these days! 



Biggles has just come into lay for the first time and doesn’t that daring drake know it! He regularly makes a nuisance of himself with the AR ducks – usually with the AR drakes joining in! – but recently he’s set his sights on Puff and Biggles. Puff, however, is an experienced lady and easily avoids his amorous advances with a neatly executed vertical take-off. Biggles, on the other hand, is new to this mating game and falls for his foreplay every time with nothing more than a slightly bemused expression! Huff  does NOT approve and deals with the dastardly drake in his huffiest, waggiest manner, the whole rebuke usually culminating with a firm grip and pull of the offender’s shoulder feathers! Consequently, MacRae now sports a set of neatly plucked shoulders. I suspect that if he continues his pursuits for much longer, we could end up with a nicely prepared oven-ready bird! 

Out and about


Still on the subject of ducks, it’s quite interesting to watch the different behaviour of the three groups of birds when they’re granted their freedom in a morning.The ARs exit the pop-hole in a linear fast run, straight under the fence to spend most of their day on the surrounding croft land. MacRae and the Cherry Bs burst forth in a fast waddle into the garden where they seem contented to spend their day, interspersed with much bathing and preening by the pool. (Not to mention MacRae’s romantic endeavours!) Real ‘home birds’ in fact! Whereas the Muscovies present themselves in a more sedately manner, accompanied by Huff’s inevitable huffing and wagging and much neck-arching by all three. At a suitable take-off point, they then fly into the adjacent field, where they can keep well out of MacRae’s reach no doubt! Needless to say, Huff always seems particularly pleased with his aeronautical prowess!


By the way, I realise that the majority of Garybuie’s blog readers probably aren’t inclined to scour all the comments too!  On the subject of MacRae however, I thought I’d include a particularly creative comment of some time ago, from our friend, neighbour and poet, Mark:

A white feathered duck called MacRae
kept himself busy with preening all day
making sure he looked cool
by the duck swimming pool
and keeping the Runners at bay.
(Of course Mark’s work is generally on a more serious note and if you’d like to find out more, then visit his website at

New visitor

One new feathered friend to become a fairly regular visitor recently here at Garybuie is a Reed Bunting. He’s quite a handsome chap with his white moustache and seems to enjoy the left-overs from the hens’ breakfast. Meanwhile, there are eleven little cuties who also deserve a mention now that they are over a week old and doing well – our first chicks of the season. The weather’s been wet and miserable today and I must admit that the wee guys seemed to be in the best place!

Keeping cozy!

And just to confirm that spring has indeed arrived, our first seedlings are starting to show their heads in the polytunnel – peas and stir-fry leaves. (Yes, I know they’re only small!)

Spring arrives in the polytunnel


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