Because the rebuilt house had no windows and still has no doors, we’ve had swallows living in it for over five weeks now.  I can’t do any electrical wiring as their nest is in the main entrance, and I don’t want to disturb the baby birds.

Pic: swallow on my weathervane, waiting to take a turn in the nest.

We have a dozen swallows living near to the house and they fly in and out all day, visiting their relatives. The chicks are getting much bigger – not long now before they fly.

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This partridge on our land is bigger than a pigeon and much more solid – so they are in demand as game birds. They are usually served in twos. I prefer to see them trotting around the farm, although they are pretty stupid and will run along the road rather than fly or turn off into undergrowth.

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The storks have now hatched; these pictures were taken on our way to the shops recently. There were more nests in the colony but these three were all in one tree.

A week ago we were sitting under the veranda when we heard a helicopter nearby.  I went to investigate and saw smoke rising from the hill to the north of our land.

Two minutes later a fire engine drove up our hill, and the helicopter flew  nearer to us.  Another fire engine arrived, and a spotter plane.  Their arrival is reassuring when you own twenty acres of woodland starting at the hillside shown in the first picture,  and the wind is at 40°C and blowing steadily!

The helicopter brought buckets of water from a pond nearby, and stayed in action as more firemen arrived until the fire was put out.

All was doused in half an hour – well done Bombeiros!

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JJ the JCB man told us the culprit was found in the coffee bar in our village. He is a known arsonist, unemployed, and does it to see the action. Eventually he will be brought before a judge again, but JJ reckons he’ll get away with it again.

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