I sit in my garden room and watch them approaching from the surrounding fields.They have a set route from the field, they march along the bottom of the garden in the “ditch” that attempts to keep the stinging nettles at bay from the field that borders the garden.
Next they weave through the shrub border up to the house.I counted 13 this morning, all females. Its usually about now that I spy the second flank approaching from the middle of the garden, they pick there way through the main herbaceous borders pecking at any new shoots pushing through the ground.
Destination bird table, or at least the ground below it. I love my bird table and its visitors, it gives me endless pleasure, and I make sure its well stocked in winter.It stands about two metres from my window.The pheasants love it too – they hoover up all the debris left by the various feathered visitors with messy eating habits.
That`s fine – but the damage they cause in the process isn`t ! The ground is like concrete where they stomp – spring bulbs struggle to push their way through, any plant near by is trampled or nibbled [ penstemons are obviously very palatable ].
Last year I thought my narcissi had some strange
disease – the flowers opened with spider-leg-like petals, then I saw a pheasant taking a bite out of a nice plump,juicy bud, leaving thin whisps of yellow.
My cat watches the performance from the warmth and safety of inside. he will occasionally stalk them, but gives up as he gets to a certain distance [we think he has a problem with perspective-they look so small from inside ].I did find a partridge in my dining room once he had carried in, but pheasants are a little too ambitious [ the partridge was shooed out shocked, but unharmed ]
I wish them no harm, in fact I feel sorry for them – what a life, being bred and nurtured only to be shot. I just don`t want them in my garden !!!
- 12 Feb, 2013
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