A JET contrail across the clear blue sky stopped us in our tracks as we walked the dogs.

For weeks we have not seen nor heard a plane above us. And suddenly there one was. Again, later that day, the droning whining sound of a motorised hang glider sullied the peace of the countryside. Some things you are certainly not pleased to have back again.

It has been wonderful hearing bird song with such clarity over the last two months. A persistent cuckoo must be thrilled that his invitation to woo is transported so well over the fields.

Whilst occasionally our spaniel Moss startles a dozy pheasant crouched down in the long grass and the bird’s crow of alarm as it takes off echoes Moss’s demented barking.

Our dogs may not possess the power of speech but it is surprising how interpretable their woofs are. Fizz, the sheepdog, really only barks to warn of strangers at the gate.

Jack Russell Millie is, at 10 years old, usually comatose for most of the day on the beanbag she claimed for her own as a puppy. But the sound of dishes being scraped clean after lunch for the dishwasher alerts her to the fact that there will be leftovers. An insistent yelp registers her claim to any game, beef or lamb going spare.

Millie is also highly tuned to the gators engine and explodes from her beanbag with an imperative bark to be taken for a ride.

Not in the cage at the back with Moss and Fizz. No, it has to be on John’s lap with her paws on the driving wheel, nose almost glued to the front window, and a soundtrack of excited yelps till she is let out into the field to chase rabbits. She hopes.

But the sound I am not pleased to hear is the crack of an egg exploding in one of my incubators. They are a trifle overcrowded as I am trying to pack in a hatching of goose eggs brought to my gate by a friend and eggs laid by my Aylesbury duck.

I know they won’t be pure Aylesbury’s as the only mate she has in our flock is a rather skinny mallard. He will never achieve any degree of plumpness for the table as he spends all his time chasing the Khaki Campbell’s to try and impress them with his charms.

As a result we have a medley of ducklings in the paddock. With not a single obliging hen at the moment ready to go into isolation for a month to hatch me more ducklings, I have had to resort to cramming eggs into the incubators. More eggs-plosions are anticipated.