Tuesday, 6 May 2008

All quiet on the pigshed front

Listening to: Crossroads (Tracy Chapman)
Weather: Sunshine, warm southerly wind

There have been some new arrivals in the pig shed. Don't get excited, the sows are still keeping me waiting, so there are no piglets yet.

What we have got is a couple of young Blackbirds.

The parents did a terrific job of getting the nest built in the rafters without me or anyone else noticing and there were two little beaks poking out the first time I saw it.

I've taken to tiptoeing around Kim's pen and talking very quietly in my pig-human conversations (probably a good idea to help get a calm vibe going for the upcoming farrowing).

The female blackbird spends much of the day on the nest, while the male zooms in and out with food and, if he realises I'm about, flying in different directions to take my attention away from the nest.

The sows, on the other hand, spend most of their time sleeping as they get larger and larger.

I've seen smaller and more mobile bull seals than Kim. . .

In other news, Dave from the blog with the ever-changing title (click on Life is an Elaborate Metaphor for Cricket) visited last week. In a run of lovely weather here on Westray, he managed to turn up on the only dreich day in ages.

Still, after breakfast, a natter and the tour of the pigshed, I whisked him off to see some seals and then go to Noup Head cliffs where guillemots, razorbills and fulmars are massing before dropping him off near the south end of the island just as the weather was brightening and watching him stumble away looking for puffins and the ferry back to Kirkwall. I hope he had a good time.


Ginni Dee said...

Well, at least you DO have babies in your pig shed. Maybe Kim and Molly will get the idea and kick this motherhood thing into high gear.

I'm going back to lie down. Still sick! UGH!

KAZ said...

Let's hope the blackbirds will set an example in parenting to Kim.

Dave was stumbling??

Well I suppose we'll soon hear his side of the story - with photos(?)

I, still, ♥ the views said...

patience is a virtue, eh. . .

great news about the blackbirds feeling at home in the pigshed!

wonder how long it will be before the girls get into action?


(had a postcard from dave, he seems very enamoured with the place!!)(not surprising, really)

patroclus said...

I'm impressed that Kim (or is it Molly?) can still sleep on her front that close to the big day. I've got four months to go and sleeping on my front is already out of the question!

...on tenterhooks for news...

Richard said...

You dropped Dave off the island? Did he make a big splash?

ziggi said...

I keep telling you it will be Thursday!

Donn said...

If you dragged Kim down to the Seal Colony I'm sure that she could easily take on the Beachmaster.
What an Oinker!

mig bardsley said...

So two blackbirds down and hundreds of piglets to go!
And it sounds like perfect weather for farrowing.

Beautiful sunset :)

Anonymous said...

we have robins in our garage...

they are sneaky.

Malc said...


Funny you should say that.
Get well soon. Very hot, very deep bath should shift it.


Well, I embellished it a bit. I just hope he knew where he was going. He did take photos, including one of me posing heroically on the edge of the cliffs (I've had a haircut since).


Glad Dave likes it on Orkney. He's been so lucky with the weather. Apart from the day on Westray, it's been beautiful for him.


Kim wasn't exactly sleeping as having just collapsed in exhaustion/frustration. I know how she feels.


Ho ho, you scallywag.


Nearly right.


She's 400lb of Saddleback loveliness.


It's the view from my local, the Cleaton House.


Finished the exams? Sneaky Robins - the one's I've come across are usually very noisy and obvious. Maybe it's a new strain. Call the RSPB now!

Rol said...

That first picture looked like one of the houses we were shown round this weekend.

Only the pigs wouldn't have lived in it.