Flock Friday for May 14

On Flock Friday this week, we’re visited by a heron a couple of times, a second nesting duck, and more.

Firstly, a couple of chickens in the new coop, one emerging from a nesting box:

Chickens

An animated GIF of a heron landing on the pond island:

Heron

Ducks on the lawn:

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

Chickens in their run, and ducks on the lawn:

Chickens and ducks

We evicted the chickens from the veggie garden, and closed the gate into their run:

Chickens with closed gate

Another GIF of the heron, this time flying from the island to the edge of the pond in front of the camera:

Heron

A GIF of Betty arriving back in the duck house after taking a brief break, drying herself off, then heading to her nest, and Sonja going to hers:

Ducks

Lots of finches on the bird feeders:

Birds on feeders

Betty on her nest, and Sonja laying an egg on hers; not on it full-time as of this date:

Nesting ducks

Chickens with treats:

Chickens

Ducks in the pond:

Ducks in the pond

Ducks in the pond

Ducks in the pond

A nice circle of eggs in Sonja’s nest; about nine there:

Eggs and nesting

Ducks on islands:

Ducks on islands

This morning Sonja seems to have started sitting on her nest full-time, like Betty is — we’ll see if she stays there, or is just spending a longer-than-usual time (apparently common to gradually increase the nesting time):

Nesting ducks

Here she’s pulling some straw into the nest:

Pulling straw into the nest

The ducklings hatch in about 28 days from full-time nesting, so Betty’s are expected within the next week, and Sonja’s will be around June 11. When they hatch, I’ll be sure to do a special post with the news.

Flock Friday for April 23

This week one of our ducks, Betty, started sitting on the dozen or so eggs in a nesting box in the duck house. So we may have ducklings in a few weeks time!

But let’s start with some pictures of the chickens, the first of which you may have seen on my personal blog:

Chicken

Chickens

Chickens

Chicken

Chickens

Here’s Betty by the eggs, not happy that I was peeking in at her:

Betty on eggs

A couple of pictures from the duck house cam of Betty in the nesting box:

Betty on eggs

In this one, you can see Sonja joining her; she might be laying too:

Betty on eggs

Ducks on the lawn:

Ducks on the lawn

Jays grabbing peanuts from the feeder tray; I put out a handful of whole peanuts each morning for them:

Jays grabbing peanuts

Jay grabbing a peanut

Jay grabbing a peanut

Ducks in the pond:

Ducks in the pond

Ducks in the pond

Betty on the eggs again:

Betty on eggs

A time-lapse GIF of Betty in the nesting box, and other ducks coming in to eat:

Betty on eggs

Flock Friday for March 19

It’s Friday. You know what that means. This week, chickens enjoying wriggly treats, ducks in various places, and some brave (or foolish) birds.

Firstly, some chickens waiting for treats:

Chickens waiting for treats

Chickens waiting for treats

The treats of the day were apple peels, which are lots of fun for them — kinda like long worms, that they can grab and run off with them trailing behind:

Chickens with apple peel treats

Chickens with apple peel treats

Chickens with apple peel treats

Chickens with apple peel treats

Chickens with apple peel treats

Chickens with apple peel treats

Chickens with apple peel treats

Some ducks on the lawn, with leafy treats:

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

A GIF of a Steller’s jay and a scrub jay grabbing some spilled cat food in front of the cat house:

Birds

A still edition of that:

Birds

A Steller’s jay with a bit of cat food in its beak:

Birds

Taking off with the food:

Bird taking off

Ducks following me down the path to the duck house:

Ducks following me down the path

Ducks following me down the path

Ducks eating in their house:

Ducks in their house

Here’s the fountain garden area; can you see some ducks?

Ducks in the garden

A closer shot of ducks in the garden:

Ducks in the garden

Flock Friday for March 12

Welcome to another Flock Friday. Surprisingly, with no pictures of the pond this time. But plenty of ducks and chickens, and even a surprise bird.

But first, some eggs — as the weather warms up, our chickens are increasing production; averaging about 8 to 10 per day currently:

Eggs

We’ve resumed giving them away to delivery folks, but are still drowning in eggs; we need to eat them faster!

The ducks have been more adventurous; here they are amongst the flowerbeds:

Ducks amongst the flowerbeds

Ducks amongst the flowerbeds

Ducks amongst the flowerbeds

Ducks amongst the flowerbeds

Almost to the field! Yes, I need to mow the grass; I’m planning to do that today, for the first time this year, if the mower cooperates.

Here they are on the back lawn:

Ducks on the back lawn

Ducks on the back lawn

Over by the chicken runs:

Ducks and chickens

Ducks and chickens

Ducks and chickens

Ducks

Chickens

She really blends in with the walls:

Chicken

Mealworm treats:

Chickens

A surprise bird in the storage area of the chicken coop; it must have flown in when I opened the door. I managed to encourage it to fly out again:

Bird

This morning while having breakfast, I was surprised to see the ducks on the driveway; they turned around pretty much straight away — no worms to eat on the asphalt:

Ducks on the driveway

Flock Friday for February 19

It’s been an interesting week, with an ice storm, snow, and days of power cuts. The ice and snow is all gone now, and we have power again (albeit with an hour outage yesterday evening). But things still feel unstable, and I know other parts of the country aren’t faring so well.

If you missed them, check out the previous two posts on the ice storm, including pictures of the chickens and ducks.

Here’s an aerial drone shot of the pond and snowy environs; you can see the new island in the center, and the ducks nearby:

Aerial pond

Duck prints in the snow:

Duck prints in snow

Duck prints in snow

Despite the days of freezing weather, the pond didn’t fully freeze at all; the closest it came was a slushy crust:

Slushy pond

Ducks in slushy pond

The hummingbirds were very hungry with no other food sources:

Hummingbirds

Ducks on pond bank, with melting snow:

Ducks on pond bank

Ducks on pond bank

Ducks on the island:

Ducks on pond island

Ducks on pond island

A cam shot of sleepy ducks on the edge of the pond, and on the island. It’s got a bit of a tilt due to water pooling on it, but the edge is still above the water line, so that’s okay:

Ducks on pond island

Hungry hummingbirds again:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Ducks on the lawn:

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

Ducks on the lawn

Let’s finish with a couple of token chicken pictures:

Chickens

Chickens

Ice storm: icy branches, icicles, ducks, hummingbirds

We had an ice storm last night. This morning, everything is covered in a layer of ice, with some powdery snow on top. Only about half an inch of each, but it was enough to knock out our power (and for everyone else in the region).

Some icy branches:

Icy branches

Tree branches weighed down; they’re normally high enough to walk under, not touching the ground:

Tree branches

Tree branches

Icy willow branches:

Icy branches

I lifted up a sample, looking edge on: a layer of ice with a layer of snow on top:

Snow and ice

The pond is starting to freeze. Just slushy at present, with some liquid on the edges:

Slushy pond and ducks

Slushy pond and ducks

The ramp into the duck house is icy, but they can make it, so still have access to food:

Slushy pond and ducks

Icicles on the duck house:

Icicles

The ducks:

Slushy pond and ducks

Slushy pond and ducks

Icicles on the bird food box:

Icicles

And the gazebo and deck:

Icicles

The hummingbird feeders were frozen; I brought this one inside to defrost:

Frozen hummingbird feeder

Since we don’t have power now, and thus can’t use the heater, I’m alternating the hummingbird feeders. We can heat water to make the sugar syrup using a kettle on our gas stove. They’re very hungry, unsurprisingly:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

I’ll go out to the chicken coop every few hours to poke at their water dispensers, to break up the ice.

Our internet is working for now, powered by a UPS, though we’ll probably turn it off soon to preserve the battery. Fun times!

Flock Friday for January 29

It’s Friday again. Today, a bunch of pictures of hummingbirds, chickens, and ducks. I know, very surprising for a Flock Friday post.

As mentioned on my personal blog, the hummingbird feeder was starting to freeze overnight, so I added my hacky heater. The heater comes on when the temperature gets down to 35° F, and goes off when above 45° F, via a thermostatically controlled outlet:

Thermostatic controller

The heating pad gets quite hot, enough to melt the ice, but too hot for the plastic base of the feeder, so it hangs a bit below via some paperclips:

Hummingbird feeder heater

Here’s a closer view of the feeder and heating pad:

Hummingbird feeder heater

The first customer approaches:

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

A couple of hummingbirds:

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

Hummingbirds

A cam shot of the ducks on a snowy morning:

Ducks

Did you see the snowy aerial photos? Here’s one picture of the pond and ducks that I didn’t include there; check out that post for more:

Aerial ducks

Snowy ducks:

Ducks

Ducks

A couple more pictures of hummingbirds, with at least 15 visible on the two closest feeders:

Hummingbirds

A closer look at the hummingbirds on the house feeder:

Hummingbirds

A bunch of pictures of the chickens, with new pumpkin and apple treats (and the older pumpkin shells slowly dissolving):

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

Chickens

The ducks on the back lawn:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Snowing:

Ducks

A GIF of ducks going after mealworm treats while it’s snowing:

Ducks

A couple more pictures of ducks:

Ducks

Duck

We still haven’t decided on a name for that Silver Swedish male duck formerly known as Sassa; options include Stefan, Silvan, Sigfrid, Sigge, and Silvester; what do you think? I rather like Stefan, though am tempted by Sigfrid in honor of Siegfried from the All Creatures Great and Small TV series we’re enjoying at present.

Cat update for week ending January 16

It’s Caturday. And birdyday, apparently.

Three cats, including Paladout:

Three cats

Poppy:

Poppy

A cam app screenshot with five cats; two in cabins, three in their house:

Five cats

I flushed Poppy out of her house again while refilling their food dispenser:

Poppy

Four cats, with three eating the bonus food I tossed on the ground for them:

Four cats

Pansy in the back of the shop:

Pansy in the back of the shop

Porcini enjoying a bath in a sunbeam:

Porcini enjoying a sunbeam bath

Porcini and Poppy:

Porcini and Poppy

A GIF of Bella on the deck, Porcini climbing a tree, and another cat running up, startling Bella:

Three cats

Spud stretching in the breezeway:

Spud

Porcini rolling around on the awning, Poppy drinking:

Porcini and Poppy

Porcini and Poppy snuggling:

Porcini and Poppy

Porcini and Poppy

Porcini and Poppy

A GIF of Porcini snuggling and rolling:

Porcini and Poppy

Paladout on a foggy morning:

Paladout

Spud in front of the cabins:

Spud

A Steller’s Jay grabbing cat food; such a pretty bird:

Steller's Jay

Steller's Jay