Saturday, 21 October 2017

More Beautiful Bourke's

We weren't going to get any more birds, we thought with 4 quail, 2 bourke's, 2 diamond doves and 6 finches this would be enough, as we don't want an overcrowded aviary. But we have decided now to sell the 6 finches as zebra finches can be bought very cheaply and we are thinking along the lines if we are breeding birds, that we are better off having something which will make more money. The finches are busy in their nest boxes, some already have chicks so we will have to wait until they have raised the young and they are ready to go.

So yesterday we picked up 2  baby bourke's, they have a rainbow of colours really gorgeous, they are quite expensive to buy at £50 each, but when they have young we can get decent money for them, also after both of our pairs have bred we will keep one baby from each pair and make up another pair, we are also going to get a pair of canaries in the the spring. 

Bourke's have always been our favourite, they have such a lovely nature, really friendly and gentle, as they get use to us they will grow in confidence and hopefully let us pick them up and they wouldn't even try to bite. The first pair we got have become quite friendly and the male Jim says pretty boy to us, and yesterday I was thrilled when Rosie let me stroke her breast.

The newest additions have been named Fred and Wilma, Fred has the blue above his beak.

So this is Fred and Wilma

Rosie and Jim - Jim is the one on the left.

We are really pleased that we decided to get birds again, they give us a lot of pleasure, and they are clearly very happy here and get spoilt rotten.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Weird Weather & Watching the Birdies

The weather has been very weird today, this morning it went really dark but the sun was looking really red, all to do with Ophelia apparently.

 Some pictures of the garden birds.

I have had a few emails asking me how our aviary birds are doing, here are some photos I have taken over the last few days, sorry if some are a bit misty/blurry looking, my camera has been misbehaving a bit.

My favourite boy Jim the Bourke, he now says pretty boy.

The doves are funny they like to nestle down on the ground to sunbathe.

At night time when it is time for them to go in the roosting box the bourkes go in on their own, the doves have to sometimes be ushered in, but this little one lets me put her on my finger.

A few weeks after we got them, the finches tried to make nests in the roosting box, so my husband made some nest boxes, we do not usually let birds breed in the winter, we have never had finches before but followed the advice of an expert who says they will happily breed all year, they are very hardy little birds. So we have three nest boxes and 2 pairs have finished laying and 1 pair has just started, so at the moment we have around 17 eggs. Fingers crossed they hatch successfully, if they do I shall post a little video of the young.

You can see this little one keeping an eye on me.

I shall leave you with a short video, unedited.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Thrifty Soup

We don't like to eat big heavy meals every night of the week. Eating something a little lighter is not only good for the waistline but also for the bank balance.

Today I made a good old thrifty red lentil soup.

In a large pan with some olive oil, I lightly fried a couple of small chopped onions and a couple of chopped garlic cloves for around 5 minutes until lightly golden.

I then added a large chopped tomato, and a teaspoon of grated root ginger, this was cooked for a further 5 minutes, then I added 200g red lentils and 1200ml of vegetable stock and a squirt of tomato puree. This was brought to the boil and then simmered for 20 mins until the lentils had softened. Then I added some chopped parsley and blended the soup, then added seasoning  and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice, before returning to the heat to warm through again.

This was served with a slow cooker bread.

I tried one of the bread mixes from Approved Foods.

Good simple honest food.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Autumn & Winter Planting

Welcome to my new follower Connie.

The garden has been somewhat neglected lately, there are still a few summer flowers, although they are starting to look tired and there are many gaps appearing.

These hanging baskets need to come down now.

The plant which self seeded which we thought was a water melon has actually turned out to be a pumpkin. 

Leaves are coming in from the enormous Horse Chestnut out the front, I have lots of pots which need to be filled.

So if the weather is dry over the next few days I shall start tidying it up, ready to do some Autumn/Winter planting.

Today I picked up these from Morrisons.

A few other 99p packs from Home Bargains.

There are still bulbs already in the ground and I have some in the shed also which I had in pots last year.

Not sure why these Autumn/Winter Violas were reduced in Asda, but I grabbed the last four.

I will get some Pansies and Polyanthus, then maybe just a few more things.

Garden centres make a nice day out these days, some are huge and you can buy just about anything in them. 

We have a lovely smaller scale garden centre right on our doorstep (well five minutes drive), not just a garden centre though, it has a pet shop and a little charity shop/shed,  it is where we bought a few of our birds and we go up there once or twice a week now, to get bird food and look in the charity shop.

Gorgeous birdies, they all looked at me as if to say please take me home, but sadly we can't / won't get anymore as we want ours to have plenty of space, allowing for them to breed as well. I shall do a post again soon about our feathered friends, I might even do a video, they are loving it here and doing really well.

The birds from the pet centre.

They even sell chickens and a few other creatures.

Everything you need for creating a Fairy garden.

The charity shop/shed, where they sell bric a brac, books etc and the money goes towards a butterfly conservation project.

I love this little place, nice to have something like this so close to home.