Flock Friday for April 3

This week, Rory with the ducks, broody chickens, and a new camera view.

I posted a similar (but different) picture to this one, of the ducks and Rory, on my personal blog:

Ducks and Rory

The ducks on the back lawn, with their heads in the grass, looking for tasty bugs:

Ducks with heads in grass

By the chicken run:

Ducks by chicken run

Ducks and chickens

Two broody chickens in a nesting box:

Chickens in nesting box

Gert on the “island” pot in the pond at night:

On island

You probably saw these two pictures of the ducks and Rory on my personal blog:

Ducks and Rory

Ducks and Rory

I moved the mobile cam from by the cat house to the (currently off) waterfall area of the pond:

Camera

A view of the pond and ducks from that camera:

Ducks

Gert with her head in the ground:

Duck with head in ground

Gert was curious about the camera:

Duck

Duck

Duck

And knocked it over:

Duck foot

So I moved the camera to a better location, closer to the pond deck:

Camera

A view from there; you can see the ducks hanging out below the pond deck, where they’ve been spending a fair bit of time:

Ducks below pond deck

I suspect Gert may be considering that location for laying eggs, though haven’t found any more yet.

Swimming past the camera:

Ducks

Ducks eating treats:

Ducks eating treats

Gert:

Duck

Bert:

Duck

Gert below the pond deck again, and Bert walking past the camera:

Ducks

Both ducks below the pond deck, and Paladout walking by:

Ducks and cat

The chickens in the old coop:

Chickens

Broody chickens again (still):

Broody chickens

A wider view of the broody chickens and others:

Chickens

The ducks walking by:

Ducks

Chickens roosting on potato planters:

Chickens roosting on potato planters

The ducks below the pond deck again:

Ducks

Ducks and a bird:

Ducks and bird

Flock Friday for March 27

This week was a busy one for the flock, with a possible first duck egg, me wading in the pond, broody chickens, and the heron and a flock of geese visiting.

An egg?!  Maybe!  We found this large broken white egg on the edge of the pond; it sure looks like it could be a duck egg, and I am expecting Gert to start laying about now. I have been looking most days for more, but haven’t found any yet:

Duck egg?

Duck egg?

On Sunday I waded into the pond with a large ceramic pot, to make a small island for the ducks:

Adding a pot to the pond

Adding a pot to the pond

The pot island:

The pot island

The main reason for doing that was that the ducks often perch on the pot that encloses the pump, but I also wanted to clean and turn on the pump, which would prevent that:

Cleaning the pump

Here’s the pump going:

Pump and ducks

A bunch of pictures of the ducks while I was standing in the pond:

Ducks

Pump and ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks going into their house:

Ducks going into their house

I’ve seen the ducks sitting below the pond deck on several occasions; I’m wondering if that’s a possible nest location (nothing there yet, though):

Ducks below the pond deck

Let’s not forget the chickens. Here are some having dust baths in the veggie garden:

Chickens having dust baths

Enjoy it while you can, girls! Once the weather warms up enough for us to start planting, they’ll be evicted.

Refilling one of the outdoor waterers; it’s easier to do that in summer, when the garden water is on, but at present I have to turn on an underground valve for one of the pipes, which leads to this tap in the back lawn, plus the pond tap:

Refilling waterer

Domino laying an egg in a nesting box:

Domino in nesting box

You can see the leftmost egg still glistening, moments after being laid:

Domino in nesting box

The heron stopped by briefly:

Heron

An animated GIF of topping up the pond; you can see the water from the hose on the right, and the water level rising slowly (watch the pond edge):

GIF of topping up pond

Ducks following me down the path:

Ducks following me down path

Did you see my YouTube video of eleven geese taking a pitstop in our pond?

Here are some photos of that, starting with the geese landing (look in the upper-left corner):

Geese landing

Geese

Geese

Geese

Geese

The geese taking off:

Geese taking off

Finally, Martha is being broody again, hanging out in a nesting box; here she’s sitting on 15 eggs:

Martha in box

Flock Friday for March 20

This week, the ducks walked across the back lawn to meet me a few times, the chickens got their favorite treat, the heron visited again, and more.

Oh, and for anyone who doesn’t follow my personal blog, Dejus: because everyone could use a bit more joy at present, I’m posting a moment of cuteness every day. Which will include additional duck and chicken pictures not posted here, plus feral and pet cats, our dog Rory, and other cute things from around the homestead. So you might enjoy following the Dejus blog, or its RSS feed, or cross-posts on Micro.blog, on Twitter, or on Facebook.

Anyway, on with today’s Flock Friday. Here are the ducks in their house:

Duck in duck house

Duck in duck house

The ducks on a frosty back lawn:

Ducks

Eating mealworms next to the duck house:

Ducks by duck house

Ducks by duck house

Chickens having a dust bath in the veggie garden:

Chickens having a dust bath

The ducks on the back lawn again:

Ducks

Quacking and walking back to their house:

Ducks

Ducks on path

A couple animated GIFs of the ducks on the path to the duck house (different than the one posted on my personal blog):

GIF of ducks on path

GIF of ducks on path

Chickens staring at me, waiting for treats:

Chickens waiting for treats

Chickens waiting for treats

It was worth the wait; rice is their all-time favorite treat, after mealworms:

Chickens enjoying rice

Chickens enjoying rice

Chickens enjoying rice

Chickens enjoying rice

Another frosty morning, and again the ducks running over the lawn to see me:

Ducks running over the lawn to see me

Ducks on back lawn

Quacking at me by the chicken runs:

Ducks by chicken runs

Ducks by chicken runs

Did you see the YouTube video of them following me to the duck house and getting treats?

A heron coming in for a landing:

Heron landing

Heron landing

Heron in the pond, watched by the ducks:

Heron in pond

Finally, since Jenn hasn’t been going to work due to COVID-19, and the chickens are laying about a dozen eggs per day at present, we’re accumulating lots of eggs. Here are four dozen, washed and ready to make into a heap of breakfast burritos this morning:

Four dozen eggs

We’ll work on thinking of other meals to eat up the eggs. Let me know if you have any recommendations.

Stay safe, stay home, everyone!

Flock Friday for March 13

This week, I bet you could use pictures of cute chickens and ducks, eh?

The chickens going after treats; notice Camilla on top of Merida:

Chickens

Chickens

The ducks coming over the lawn to greet me:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

Following me down the path to the duck house:

Ducks

Ducks

Eating mealworm treats on the bank by the duck house:

Ducks

Two chickens in a nesting box:

Two chickens in a nesting box

I feel like she’s giving me a disapproving look:

Chicken in nesting box

A bunch of chickens in the old coop:

Chickens

I’ve got a couple months of chicken feed stacked up:

Chicken feed

The ducks again:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks

RIP RIR

The last of our Rhode Island Red chickens, hatched in April 2015, died last night. Rest in peace, Red.

Here are some pictures of the RIRs from 2015:

Chickens

Chickens

Chicken

Info from the feed store:

RIR info

Ironically, Apple killed the Chicken GIFs iMessage sticker pack today, too, which featured animated GIFs of the RIRs and Leghorns. It’s like they could tell.

Flock Friday for March 6

A couple of times this week, the ducks walked across the back lawn to visit me by the chicken coop.

Firstly, you probably saw a couple of posts with aerial shots from my new drone; here’s one more of the pond and ducks:

Aerial shot of pond and ducks

On Monday morning, while I was doing my usual rounds to give the chickens and ducks treats, and refill the bird feeders, the ducks crossed the back lawn to come see me by the chicken coop:

Ducks on back lawn

The ducks by the chicken run:

Ducks by chicken run

Ducks by chicken run

Ducks by chicken run

After I left, they followed me onto the driveway, which is the furthest I’ve seen them from the pond:

Ducks on driveway

Ducks on driveway

Ducks on driveway

I encouraged them to go back to the pond:

Ducks heading back to pond

Ducks heading back to pond

A couple of days later, they joined me on the back lawn again:

Ducks on back lawn again

Ducks on back lawn

Ducks on back lawn

Did you see the YouTube video of them? Make sure you turn on the sound; fun to hear them quacking at me.

Once again, I encouraged them back to the pond, for their safety:

Ducks in pond

A view from the hidden path:

Ducks in pond

No doubt the first of many posts of aerial photos

As mentioned on my personal blog, I recently bought a new drone: a DJI Mavic Mini. It’s a huge improvement over the old Parrot one I’ve had for years, and a couple of smaller toy ones I’ve tried. I haven’t really wanted to use those, as they lack a GPS to help navigation, so tend to drift away without actively managing the positioning, and the cameras are low resolution and fixed in place, so photos and video are poor quality.

While this new drone is very lightweight and lacks more pro features like course plotting, following, object avoidance, etc, the Mavic Mini does have a GPS to anchor it in the sky and let it return to the takeoff location, a gimbal for the camera to keep it straight and steady, and a camera resolution (4000×2250) comparable to modern iPhones (4032×3024).

See that Dejus post for pictures of the drone while setting it up. Here are a couple of pictures of it in the sky:

Drone

Drone

I probably won’t keep the blade guards on long-term, but thought that they’d be helpful “training wheels” while I practice flying it.

Anyway, the drone will be fun when we go on trips, where drone flight is allowed (which is quite restricted). But I expect I’ll mostly use it to take aerial photos of our homestead.

So you can expect more posts like this one over time. Let’s take off, starting with a top-down view of our fenced veggie garden and berry cage:

Veggie garden

From a lower angle:

Veggie garden

The old chicken run (you can see some chickens by the hole in the fence between the veggie garden and their run; I don’t think they were fans of the strange noisy bird hovering above; it sounds like an angry swarm of bees):

Chicken runs

Turning a little to the right, the new chicken run and coop:

Veggie garden, chicken run, coop

Top-down to both chicken runs:

Chicken runs

The pond:

Pond

Another shot of the pond, with the pond deck in the foreground, and duck house on the right:

Pond

Another angle of the pond:

Pond

Flowerbeds on the left, back lawn on the right, pond in the background:

Flowerbeds and pond

Flowerbeds, with the white and brown gazebos visible:

Flowerbeds

Flowerbeds and white gazebo:

Flowerbeds and white gazebo

Closer to the gazebo:

White gazebo

A top-down view of the flowerbeds (could be useful for planning planting):

Flowerbeds

I hope you enjoyed seeing this unusual perspective on some of the homestead. I’m sure I’ll show other angles and changing seasons in future posts. Let me know if you liked this!

Flock Friday for February 28

On this Flock Friday, closeups of ducks, aerial pictures of the pond, and more.

Firstly, the ducks in the grasses next to the pond. I’m not sure if they’re rooting for bugs, or looking for places to nest. Probably both:

Ducks in grasses

A couple token pictures of some chickens:

Chickens

Chickens

The chicken feeder jug in the new coop, freshly filled:

Chicken feeder

There are still about seven chickens roosting above the nesting boxes, but recently a couple more have joined Lola on the main roosts:

Chickens roosting

Colorful boiled eggs in the fridge:

Eggs

A bunch of pictures of the ducks:

Ducks

Ducks

Ducks with treats

Closeups of Bert:

Bert

Bert

Bert

Bert

And Gert:

Gert

Gert

Gert

The ducks roosting on the pot supporting the fountain (which is currently off) at midnight:

Midnight ducks

A couple aerial pictures of our pond and surrounds:

Aerial picture of pond

Aerial picture of pond