Three pheasants and a miscellany of other wildlife

24 April 2013

Back on 21 February I reported the sudden arrival of a black pheasant in the garden. We are now having three black pheasants regularly visit: two males and one female. As they are getting more used to us, they are spending increasing time wandering around the garden, and though they are wary of us, they don’t become very agitated as long as we approach them slowly, they just strut off in the opposite direction. The female is noticeably smaller and plainer than the males, who are both very handsome and don’t seem to be bothered by one another, which surprises me. All three of them seem to becoming noticeably plumper, probably due the amount of wheat they are packing away! They don’t seem to be causing any problems except for the one which got inside the greenhouse the other day and became very agitated when I appeared, though he didn’t actually harm any plants, just one of the plant covers I was using.

Left: you can see all three pheasants in this shot - the female is the one closest, on the left. Right: close up of one of the males.

Left: you can see all three pheasants in this shot – the female is the one closest, on the left. Right: close up of one of the males.

We have also had two bird species in the garden which I haven’t seen so near the house before. The first was a crow, which would really have drawn my attention prior to the advent of the pheasants, but I’ve got used to seeing bigger birds now so it took a few moments for it to dawn on me that it was neither a pheasant nor a jackdaw, the latter being regualar visitors. Within a few minutes we then had a magpie arrive. I’ve always thought it strange that we don’t see magpies much here – sometimes in the trees at the far end, but this if the first I’ve seen come close – he was quite nervous, so it will be interesting to see if he returns.

The friendly blackbird continues to demand we dig bits of the garden so he can find worms, and there is a definite tweeting when he goes back to the nest with a beakful. Hopefully we’ll see fledglings soon – as long as the magpie doesn’t find them first.

The only butterfly interest was two Peacocks, flying together and sitting for a time on the bare earth of one of the vegetable beds, soaking up the sun.

There were several types of bee buzzing around. I only got a good look at one, which was buzzing angrily behind the bubble-wrap in the greenhouse, which – when rescued – looked like a small bumble bee and was all black. Looking it up, I think it was a female Hairy-Footed Flower Bee (what a lovely name!) and as they like red dead nettle and lungwort, both of which I have in the garden, this makes it all the more likely. Plant the right plants and the wildlife will come.

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