We hoped that sheep from the National Trust’s Rare Breed flock on Orford Ness would be coming to over-winter on Snape Warren again (see posts about this time in 2017); but it was mid-November before we knew this for certain and December 7 before they actually arrived.
The photograph shows them at ease in their new home on the following day, enjoying the sunshine as they lie down, like cows, to chew the cud (masticate), typically either side of 11 a.m.
Not all 66 sheep who are now our responsibility are in this photo, but enough are present to show that, unlike previous years, about two thirds of the flock are Hebrideans or cross-breeds thereof: they show better in the photograph below. The flock otherwise contains only a dozen or so White-faced Woodlands and four Manx Loughtans. Among the former we are delighted to welcome again Wendy, the matriarch of the flock, and among the latter old friends Ugly and Mike.
The pastoral idyll did not last long. A couple of days later a sharp early morning frost led the sheep to question why they had been brought here (above and right); and one of the White-faced Woodlands (no. 564) was clearly ill with, as it turned out, pneumonia. A visit by the shepherd, Andrew Capell, and a vet, and an anti-biotic injection, were necessary (below).
Note on December 29: number 564 seems to have recovered in that, although she still coughs badly from time to time, she is up and running with the flock normally and is putting on weight.