These are a few of my Favourite Things at PumpjackPiddlewick

An absolute favourite thing to do is sit in our duck enclosure. Whether I am reading, writing (like now), or simply watching. The peace and serenity is a beauteous thing. The odd car going by on the road on the other side of our little valley may interrupt. And just now a jet on manoeuvres has given me a quick blast of noise as he goes racing past. But on the whole it is just muted village noises and the birds I hear in the background. I find myself often stopping what I am doing just to soak in the moment.

A Tawny owl lives in a large tree two gardens behind me. He lets me know periodically that he is still on the search for a mate with his ‘who who’. I thought he finally got lucky last week when there was an answering cry, but maybe she wasn’t the one for him as he is back to asking around if anyone is interested.

The ducks are currently all napping around me. Little heads turned and beaks tucked into feathers. They have split into 2, almost 3, groups now, which will lead to mates. Well, maybe not as yet for our teenage girls. They are a unit unto themselves and have a favourite napping spot on a pile of straw in a corner. The other five adults are in the opposite corner.

Maggie is the favourite of the males, so they sit surrounding her. Beepbeep is doing her best to entice Sir Studly away with her flirtatious head bobbing and cheeky noises these days. Ultimately she will be successful as Maggie has George and he is not keen on anyone else trying to get near her. Louis is our odd one out, both in type and mate. Depending on when the girls come into maturity, I am hoping he will find a favourite amongst one of them. In the meantime he divides his attention, like the true gentle man he is, between Maggie and Beepbeep.

Oh, and names have finally stuck for our little trio of girls: Pecan, Pumpkin and Pi. Yes, spelled Pi, in honour of my Dad as that is his favourite mathematical symbol. Pecan is a mix between Beepbeep and Louis (our white duck) so is a paler grey version of a mallard. She is exceptionally beautiful and has a sweet personality. Pumpkin and Pi are like identical twins, so I wanted names that worked together. Pumpkin has a paler neck, but as they moult and grow older their colouring will change so relying on their plumage differences could create all sorts of confusion. I will put different coloured bands on them shortly and that at least will help in telling them apart.

The sun is shining around me, whilst I sit in the shade of an overhanging branch. Our sunflowers that ring the enclosure have their faces turned towards the sun. Tiny birds are flitting about them, hanging from the flowers as they peck out the seeds. Last year I tried harvesting the sunflower seeds and have decided it is a foraging job too far. So much effort for so little result. I like sunflower seeds, but they are not top of my list of favourite things to eat. Rather a side consideration. And as the birds are so enamoured of them, I’ll leave the seeds to the professionals. Instead, I will take my enjoyment from sitting here and letting them distract me from what I am doing.

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