March on Orford Ness Suffolk

Andrew Capell with lambBoy it’s been cold and wet here on the Ness the last few weeks. Today has seen sun, snow, sleet and a cold wind. Not the weather you want to be out trying to paint red arrows on the road to make out the main visitor route. With the count-down to opening now in full swing we are running out of days. When the weather is fine all the outside jobs are getting done and when it’s wet the buildings are getting swept out, windows cleaned and displays all sorted. On top of that I am doing my day job of looking at the sheep and giving then some hay. We got them all in last week and looked at their feet and trimmed and treated any that needed. Our females are starting to look ‘in lamb’ now so after Easter I will be moving them back to the Ness.

Curlew

At the mo it’s still very wet here which is proving attractive to the Curlew and a few Black-tailed Godwits. Duck numbers are down a bit now as many birds have started to move back North. A few Ringed Plovers have returned over the last weekend and the Lapwings have started to sort out their territories on the airfields. The first Spoonbills have been about with up to 6 seen on Saturday and, unusual for us, 2 Egyptian Geese have been seen as well. We managed to open some bird nets for the first time this year have re-trapped 6 Bearded Tits, all from last year, so we know that at least these survived over the winter. The moth trap has been put out but with the cold nights no moths have been in it so far. We are only putting it on once a week, as soon as it’s above 8 degrees at night it will be on more.

Orfordness Lighthouse CREDIT Tony Pick 2011 small

I don’t get much post sent to the office so it’s nice when I do, last week the invite to exhibit at the Suffolk show came. I was hoping to have a new Whitefaced Woodland Ram to take but I could not fine one that I liked. My 2 Jacob rams are getting a little old now at 4 years so it looks like I will be just taking my young Heb ram but he needs to fill out a bit first. So the rams will come back onto the Ness when the ewes do and I can put them on the river walls which are nice and dry with lots of grass. Kite the sheepdog may also go. He missed last year so it would be nice to take him to see if he can improve on his 4th place in 2014. But that paper work can wait till next week as we have a brake in the sleet shower now and I have some vehicles to put away. And then fingers crossed it stays fine till we are over the river and on the way home.

Andrew