Just like that, winter fades into a distant memory, as the sun shines brightly across deep blue skies, and the rhythmic call of the cuckoo echoes across the farm.

It is a welcome sound, as, according to superstition, hearing the cuckoo call signals another year of life. I do keep checking and the Happy Farmer has his ears cocked too!

The hedgerows are bursting with bloom. Several years back – and it was a gamble then – we were trying to establish hedging along the sides of the fields in such an exposed part of the island. Undeterred, the Happy Farmer has actively been planting more new trees and hedging all around the farmland.

Establishing the hedgerow was a team effort. The Happy Farmer called upon the services of our two, then resident pigs to prepare the site for planting. A pig’s snout is amazing when it comes to excavating and digging up the ground.

Once fences were in place and the young hedging was planted and starting to grow, wigwam-shaped hen coops were quickly erected and placed over the fences. Stepping up to the mark of weeding duties were our team of 50 or so young hens. They happily spent their days rooting around the young shrubs and bushes.

Of course, finding the eggs they were laying in the process when the hedge really started to take off, was slightly more of a challenge. The young Persabus team got the job of the after-school egg hunts and there were always willing volunteers from the holiday cottages.

Today, the hedge stands teens of feet high and provides a perfect shelter belt – in wild storms the sheep can be seen happily chewing the cud, nestled in behind it.

It also continues to attract a wealth of wildlife and at this time of year becomes a hive of industrious chatter and activity, as nests are busily constructed in the branches of the shrubs and bushes, as well as in the nearby gaps and crevices of the old stone walls of the farm buildings.

All the while, the cuckoo can be seen surveying the activity, waiting for the opportunity to evict an egg or two from a host’s nest, freeing up necessary space for the adoption process of her eggs by another bird.

The relationship between the Happy Farmer and the nesting contingent on the farm continues to be a bit of a bone of contention. He can be seen busy trying to divert, organise, and encourage nesting spots that better suit his own lifestyle, whereas the birds are having none of it.

Chirruping can be heard from the sparrows, who, since the farmer blocked the gap in the eaves under the farmhouse roof with cement last winter, remain undeterred.

This year, on finding their usual spot barricaded, they have instead happily set up camp in the drainage pipes that run alongside those eaves. They can be seen happily chirping away as they peer down at the Happy Farmer as he lights the first barbecue of the season.

‘Sparrows 2, Happy Farmer 1’, goes the score sheet – the wellied one scoring a 1 due to his delicious cooking skills on the barbecue. A barbecue he adeptly constructed from the upcycled stand of an antique singer sewing machine belonging to his late grandmother.

The swallows have happily made their annual appearance too, swooping ever so gracefully around the farm buildings. Their nests are being constructed in the Happy Farmer’s shed and outbuildings, as they return to their annual ‘summer lodgings’.

The relationship between Happy Farmer and his ‘lodgers’ remains slightly strained, as every year those swallows appear to take great delight in dive bombing one Happy Farmer.

They are seemingly slightly disgruntled at having to share the nesting and nursery wing of the shed with the Happy Farmer. He, on the other hand, can be seen laying out tarpaulins, draping them in preparation across the machinery and implements, as a means of damage limitation, as he reluctantly accepts and welcomes the arrival of these regular guests.

The sheep, too, like to return to their annual lambing spots on the farm. They have free rein across the fields but remain in their tightly knit clans.

The Hebrideans flatly refuse to mix, or change their space for the more fertile fields the rest of the flock are inhabiting. They prefer their familiar spots and each year, choose the same areas to give birth to their offspring.

Morning runs through the fields have become my contribution to the lambing rounds and mostly, with a great spell of gorgeous sunshine, the outdoor lambing has been going well.

There are of course the odd exceptions, those minor hiccoughs. The lamb stuck on the wrong side of the fence (there’s always one!) bleating away, managing to get itself tied up, its hooves firmly encased in fencing wire.

There was the sheep who needed an extra hand to lamb. She delighted in giving the Happy Farmer the run-around, as he practised his ‘Evil Knievel’ quad biking skills in a failed effort to catch her.

The sheep just took off under a gap in the hedge, the hedge that is thriving, full of prickly hawthorn and rugrosa roses. She managed to hide herself in the thickest most overgrown part.

The Farmer had no option but to abandon the quad bike, clamber over the fence, and crawl through the hedging in his efforts to capture the little dear and save the day.

Undeterred, once the farmer was fixed firmly in the deepest bit of hedging, the sheep skipped gleefully out again, as he struggled to disentangled himself to give chase once more, until she was finally caught. But not before outsmarting the farmer by squeezing herself into the old hen coop.

Minutes later and one large lamb was safely delivered, with a makeshift bow made from the Happy Farmer’s lambing gloves, tied across the sheep’s horns. You can always spot the troublesome ladies by their head garb. Now, mother and lamb are thriving, with the bow still intact – a sign that she still can't be caught easily.

The shenanigans of all this began late last autumn. The trailer reversed into the yard and with a glint in his eye, and all the coolness and confidence of a celebrity, Freddie the Ram sauntered down the ramp.

The air smelt good, as his nose suddenly tilted upwards, sniffing away. He enjoyed the glances of the crowd that had gathered in the nearby field. The ladies were eagerly hoping for an introduction, excited at the prospect of the romance and adventures that were sure to follow.

So, in the biting, crisp November air, Freddie could be seen, hair slicked back, a huge grin across his face, enjoying his freedom. ‘nosing’ his way through the flock like an experienced whisky connoisseur with’ a fine malt.

Most of the ladies just had breakfast on their minds, nibbling away on the grass, as Freddie singled out his lady.

Today, Freddie can be seen lazing among the flock, chewing idly on the cud with the fruits of his winter labours happily skipping and jumping around as their mothers keep a watchful eye, in between nibbling at a bite of breakfast.