Monday, 9 January 2012

A kite and the circle of life

The enthusiasm of my two dogs for a walk as soon as I get back from the school run is undimmed by heavy grey skies. Today we were joined by a red kite, wheeling in swooping curves.

Kites are occasional visitors here. I've seen as many as three at once and never get tired of them. They make a change from the ubiquitous buzzards. The kite headed off in the direction of Parc Maen Hir, home to the sheep at the moment, where it was greeted by heckling from a group of carrion crows and cackling laughter from a bunch of unruly magpies.

Ah. Carrion birds, all. This requires further investigation, dog-free.

I collected mum and we headed back up to the sheep. Sure enough, there she was, man down. Not long, but bits already picked clean by busy beaks. Mum headed back to the house, made a call for the corpse to be collected and then went back up to the field again to bring down the remains. I doubt if it crossed her mind for a moment not to do this sort of thing at her age (but she's bloody minded enough to have thought 'sod it' and done it anyway). Old age? So not yet (but thanks for the free bus pass and fuel allowance).

Those left behind: "Oh someone's dead. How interesting. Who's next?"

Why did this ewe die? Who knows? She was one of the older ones but she had all her teeth (unlike some). She seemed in good condition too. Something could have killed her; the flock looked a little disturbed. But (farmer's shrug) these things 'appen. We can't make her better so there's no point in fretting. We have some delightful little ewe lambs saved as replacements, perhaps one of her daughters. She wasn't one of the named ones either (that's when it feels sad). It's all part of the circle of life.


  1. You win some, and you lose some, and some get rained out.

    Sorry for the loss of the ewe. A creature of God, and a part of your farm's economy. A double loss. Sadly.

  2. Without man's intervention, this is what happens. We shouldn't interfere too much with the natural order of things, me thinks.

  3. Nature doing what it does best. Still a little bit sad, a farmer I'm not!

  4. I love the kites on the Preselis too. Interestingly they almost never come to Plumstone starling roost, though almost every other raptor does - Goshawks there the other night.


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