News from Wark Farm March 2021
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Two years back, in the days we could gather, conservation friends advising on the best way to prepare lunch for curlew and other waders in our wetland area.
Newsletter March 2021
The curlews are back, written with a smile on my face. It's a moment I anticipate every year, the first special one. Nearly always it is the call that tells me they are home, the first one or two flying past high up, journeying back from coastal winterings in the UK or further afield. As the month moves on those first passage birds turn to prospecting birds, which turn to displaying birds and finally to nesting and rearing birds as they make these short hillside summers their own. The seasons first one will physically stop me in my tracks, eyes skywards urgently seeking visual confirmation of the hope in my ears. But it's in the magic of these birds that it's not only the first but repeatedly during the spring and summer to follow that they will interrupt my days and require my attention. Often-times it will be to watch the see-saw flight as they stake out their patch, the accompanying burbling and chattering guaranteed to improve my day. Or the regular salute as they traffic to and fro over the farmhouse and yard, morning and evening from the upper fields to feed in our wetlands below. If I'm lucky, it will be when I'm scolded for coming too near the nest or their lanky youngsters. Of course all this stirring of emotions is a one way street and the word evocative was used by me about them, not them about me; I dare say with a curlews eye view I retain the basic shape of a threatening predator. Through the language of their world though, in the tending to their needs for food, for shelter, for somewhere to breed perhaps I may claim a reciprocal attention from them. When we direct water, long contained in a drainage ditch, back on to our fields to keep them damp and insect rich through the critical weeks of late spring and I see them flight in and touchdown with their exquisite delicacy aren't we connecting? I'm never conscious though of the day when, breeding done and young hopefully fledged, they leave again. Unlike the wild geese or the swallows they don't announce their departure, seeming instead to slip away from present to absent. It scares me that one day that absence may be permanent. Like many waders and other farmland birds their numbers have declined enormously and while interest in their conservation has grown I know I would be far from alone in feeling grief if we are too late to save them. So we will continue in hope that our attempts to meet their needs here will find their favour as will those of the many others working to the same ends. To hear that first call again each spring is a deep heartfelt motivation.
The March order form is now open and we will be delivering this month on Friday 19th, we shall be at Banchory Farmers Market (9 - 1) for order pickups, pies and fridge browsing on Saturday 20th and open at the farm for order collections on Sunday 21st (11 - 2). We have available to order this month the normal range of Belted Galloway Beef cuts and a good selection of Hebridean lamb. The lamb this month is the first of our 2020 crop following on the 2019 hogget we've been offering recently. It has a softer sweeter taste and if you're thinking of having lamb for Easter this would be ordering round to be in time for that. We also have fresh pork and sausages and a return of our full cured range of bacons, gammons steaks, boiling gammons, smoked houghs and pancetta. Not forgetting, as if we could, our selection of pies. The updated order form link is below.
As ever please get in touch if you have any queries.
Laurel & SabrinaLink to order form.