Over the past six weeks we’ve swapped Ireland for Australia, and 20 odd hens and ducks for at least as many budgies, finches and quails. With passion fruit and mandarins dropping off the trees besides the chirruping budgies, it’s a far cry from the windswept west coast of Ireland.
I’ve a soft spot for the quieter, less colourful quails. At first glance you can’t even see them. Then you’ll notice a rustling in the bushes, from which a scurrying brown blur bursts forth, making a beeline for a piece of lettuce like a busy office worker who’s just spotted the last BLT on the trolley.
Given half a chance, the two animals who were left in charge of us might pursue the quail in a similar manner. Fortunately the aviary has a two door, airlock type system to keep the birds in and cats out. Daisy, pictured below, is sat on my lap as I type this, staring at the screen as if proofreading what I’m saying about her.
Having missed out on the warmest seat in the office, Pebbles is sat on the other chair waiting for her opportunity. When Daisy gets bored and potters off, Pebbles will no doubt swoop in, deliver a few affectionate headbutts, pad my stomach and eventually settle down. They’ve both been most excellent company.