From butterflies to dust baths

Nearly all the apples have finished blossoming, the James Grieve is the last. The photo below was taken two days ago. The butterfly is a Green-veined White. Yesterday, the weather was finally suitable for walking our butterfly and bee monitoring transect, that we signed up for over two weeks ago (see post below). I was disappointed to only get three bee species and only five bees in total. On the positive side there were six different butterflies and at least twenty nine individuals.

Green-veined white

Green-veined white butterfly on James Grieve Apple Blossom

Meanwhile, the chickens have joined the ducks in their new home. For the last few years, we have had to keep them in a moveable ark because we lost some to foxes and mink. A mink once killed our whole flock. Even in the ark, one fox still tried his best to get them (in the middle of the day too!).

Fox checking out chickens in their ark in 2013

Fox eying up chickens in their ark in 2013

Now with the electric poultry fence, we hope we can keep them all the poultry safe. The chickens are certainly enjoying their new freedom and within five minutes of being released from the confines of their ark had made themselves a dust bath in some bare soil. Dust bathing helps the chickens keep their feathers in good conditions and is thought to help with ectoparasites.

Chickens dust bathing

A mass of feathers – chickens enjoying a dust bath

Nelson, the drake, enjoying his new pond

Nelson, the drake, enjoying his new pond

 

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One thought on “From butterflies to dust baths

  1. Miranda McCoy

    I am thrilled to see the progress on your greenhouse – how exciting! As for cucumbers I enjoyed the unique thrill of cucumber ice cream last night and can highly recomemend it.
    And how lovely to see Nelson finally take to the water of their very own pond. A little slice of country living for me to enjoy – keep up the good work! xx

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