Last month I was counting off the various firsts of the year to date. Now there are more to add to the list.
This morning there was a heap of straw in the goose hut, pulled and picked into a comfy doughnut shape by one of the geese. I parted it carefully, and yes, the first goose egg of the year. Traditionally they start laying on Valentine's day, so if it was laid before midnight, she was spot on. I'll wait til there are enough eggs to put in the incubator and then let them do their thing by benefit of electricity, leaving the geese to sit naturally on another clutch.
There was the first flush of blossom in the orchard. It is on the unknown tree - I think it is a plum but don't really know - and the reason as to why it never fruits and reveals its true nature is clear; every year it blossoms far too early and the frost will kill off any premature buds. Looks like it's getting it wrong again.
Then there were the two nuthatches eyeing each other up. One of them, the male I guess, was displaying and trembling his tail feathers for all the world as if he was a bird of paradise; never seen that before.
And then on Wednesday I came in to find my first ever ominous recorded phone message from the animal health department of Defra announcing that the farm is in the newly enlarged Bluetongue surveillance zone. To be honest, the chances of doing anything to prevent my sheep getting this disease is nil, and the temptation to bury my head in activity is strong. I know only too well that some midges and mozzies have survived our warm winter. What a way to welcome the lambing season.