Monday, 30 July 2012

ménage à trois

It has been noisy on the field for the last 24 hours.
Last night Alf and Hughie could be seen galloping anxiously to and fro by the hawthorn hedge, with their necks held high, They were looking for little Ivy, who was no where to be seen and were calling their "machine gun calls" time and time again in an effort to locate their lost "flock" member.
Far in the distance I thought I could hear a distinctive guinea fowl reply, but by dusk, the hen had not returned and the males had reluctantly made their way to their roosting tree where they sat chatting quietly to themselves like unhappy old men on a park bench.
Alf and Hughie (foreground) Ivy is behind
Guinea fowl do not mate for life, but they do forge incredibly strong bonds with each other.so it is with a very heavy heart that I watched Hughie and Alf's moving efforts to find Ivy.
Little scraps of birds they may be, but the anxiety and emotion they exhibit when separated is very real indeed...there is no need for anthropomorphism here...
I suspect Ivy has made herself a nest and has "gone to ground" so to speak. It was not long ago since Rachel over at the nearby riding stables found a guinea nest with 15 eggs inside it. and not wanting Ivy to sit, I told Rachel to destroy it....perhaps nature has taken over once again.


Ebb and Flow....Ebb and Flow...... this is the way of free range animals..........today Felicity Shagwell and the mini-me's have just been let out of their run to join in with the field population and next week Carol and Polenta may be hardy enough to start their adventures in the long grass with the remaining runner ducks
The circle continues.


Postscript ( written 5 hours later)
I have just spent a fruitless 2 hours helping elderly villager, Mr Ellis to sort out his Broadband connection (and made a friend out of a delightful BT call centre employee from the Indian subcontinent as I did so) and so I was fairly late taking the dogs out for a walk.... we went down Gypsy Lane which was the direction in which I thought I heard Ivy last night, and on the way back, I noticed the little guinea fowl slowly  making her way  homeward across the far fields.
Apologies for this now rather pointless post......as all the guineas are happily filling their fat faces with an extra portion of corn...........

30 comments:

  1. Why don't you want the baby Guineas? I would have thought 'the more, the merrier'.

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  2. In that case, what do the eggs taste like?

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  3. Those guineas sure are making your drake look totally irresponsible. He doesn't seem even to notice when one of his hens goes missing.

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  4. I'm curious to know how long it takes before it appears Alf and Hughie have moved on.

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  5. Joined at the hip!

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  6. I love your little insights into animal life...

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  7. May seem odd, but I find the noise Guinea fowl make soothing. It certainly beats the shit out of the noise of heavy traffic or loud music, none of which I suffer now.

    They are tough old birds and, I know you are not going to like this, one of my favourite dishes...

    (I did a haunch of one of the bushbucks I shot last week for Sunday lunch yesterday. It was scoffed down to the bone)

    If you can bring yourself to do it, let them breed and I'll send you Marcia's recipe which is devine. At least they will have had a better life than the plastic wrapped birds you buy at the supermarket.

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  8. You're post's not a waste of time, even though the hen showed up again. It provided a lot of insights into guinea fowl relationships that I knew nothing about.

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  9. Your post, your writing, is NEVER a waste of time. I enjoy your writing, and your insights on animals, even the human ones, are always a good read. I come away from your blog a better person, and my day is always better for having read it.

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  10. All's well that ends well - clever you to go in the right direction. I expect the next time you write about them you will be cursing them again!

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  11. John! You know you have our collective 'ear' here....anything you say/write is far from pointless. Hey it was good to hear that Ivy had some sense after all!!!

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  12. I love happy endings! YAY!!!!!

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  13. A girl night out and now it's over. She probably had a word with Alf and Hughie on return, along the lines of Bugger off fellas.

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  14. Once again another Happy Tail...err I mean feather !

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  15. Glad Ivy returned safely.

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  16. Thanks for the smile, John. I needed that. Glad Ivy is home!

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  17. No apologies necessary. A satisfying conclusion is always a welcome addition to the story line.
    Dxox

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  18. I'm happy to learn she has ambled home, and is safe from harm.
    I know the feeling, there's times I feel the need to wander and lay a nest of eggs...a girl's thing I 'spect ;)
    ~Jo

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  19. p.s. Whatever happened to little Red the quail? Did I miss a critical post about him? I keep waiting to hear about that quail egg omelet.
    Dia

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  20. Glad to hear Ivy has returned safely, John!

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  21. Hurray! I like a happy ending. You have broadband? Gosh, you are lucky. The best BT can offer us is something almost as good as the earliest of dial up connections...and I'm not joking either.x

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  22. ...but will she wonder away again tonight ? It's like a must see soap opera around yours - can't wait for the next episode.
    Love the image of Ivy wondering home across the fields - bless her.

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  23. she did disapear last night again penny!

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  24. I'm glad for the happy ending and hope that Ivy continues to come home.

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  25. I bet she has a nest.
    The day after my renegade hens were given away (for not producing enough eggs - I was skint at the time) and had been driven away in the new owner's station-wagon, I discovered a HUGE cache in the agapanthas.... must have been 40 or 50 eggs there...

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  26. ...and this from 5 hens. Sigh.

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  27. kath
    I once found 60 eggs in 2 nests under the hawthorn

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