The buds on the apple trees and the uncoiling hawthorn are unavoidable sights at the moment.  Weeks ago the snowdrops were the first sign but now the main players are beginning to stretch and yawn in the spring sunshine.   Very soon the trees will begin to lose their winter silhouettes and will start to soak up the light.

Last week I was sorting out the chickens and generally having a nosey around the garden when I heard a din and a kerfuffle in the fields.  The noise was angry and showy at the same time which made me suspect who was making it.  Later that evening I looked up the culprit in my Collins Field Guide of Bird and Wildlife Sounds (an audiobook).  I was right; the commotion was from cock pheasants trying to establish their dominance over each other.  The noise must make an obvious advertisement for foxes and birds of prey but they were too male to care.  They were drunk with love and it was making them oblivious to all but seeing red in each other.

pheasant cock fight by BenWhittle

The day after this audio treat the lovely Sharon and I passed one of these drunken pheasants on the road.  A tonne of high speed metal usually makes them run for cover, but this one stood its ground, and as we sped past it gave us an eye that said he thought he could take us on.

Tonight I returned home to find a large box delivered in the post.  It was two feeders and two mouse guards for the hives.  The feeders are to help placate the hive occupants when we steal their honey.  The guards are to ensure that the hive does not become a home for local mice.  If they were foolish enough to find themselves in a hive to steal from then I am sure they would be swiftly killed by the residents, and then entombed as the mice are too big to be dragged back out.  I think we are all setup now, we just need to bees!