We’ve had some lovely nature surprises here today! This morning after dropping Clark off at nature camp (his first camp experience, it’s every day for one week, and so far he loves it) Tabby and I got home and heard a noisy bird ruckus near the chicken coop. I went in, but it was not a chicken. Came out, walked about, and saw a surprise bird in our yard–a young turkey! At first I thought it was a guinea hen (in my defense I did not have my glasses on), ran in the house to get the camera, and got to see it some more. It had beautiful pale grey feathers and I’m guess it’s very young because I’ve never seen feathers like that on a grown up turkey. Pippin frightened it into the air and a little while later Tabby and I saw him nestled into the woods. I hope he sticks around for a while. (and hope I get better photos if he shows up again!)
Update: OK, I think my initial instincts were correct and that it was a young guinea fowl. I was thrown off by not seeing the distinctive dots, but I have since found some photos on flickr showing a more uniform color like this one has. If it’s a guinea fowl I hope it sticks around-you know they eat deer ticks!
The other fabulous nature surprise is this: again I was in the chicken coop collecting an egg (much easier now that everything is fresh and new in there) and I heard a soft chicken sound. I looked around because I didn’t think any chickens were in there with me, looked some more, and discovered Blackie in a little hidden spot under the grape vines. Later on I went back and surprise! A hidden clutch of 9 eggs!!
That’s the way I expect our hens to have babies-you find a secret spot, stealthily lay your eggs there, then go sit on them. I have high hopes for Blackie (our most favorite and tame hen.) Once she starts sitting she won’t be locked up at night, but it’s a good spot against the garage, shielded by the grape vines, and also shielded by chicken wire on two sides.
p.s. by the way, I don’t feel certain it’s a turkey because have you ever seen a turkey that looked like this?? But it’s not a pheasant, not a guinea hen, what else could it be? I thought it was maybe a juvenile because its coloring was solid-didn’t have the markings I associate with a turkey or guinea hen.