Monday, March 19, 2007

Pheasant visit

Captured in the front flower patch is a male pheasant. He is a frequent visitor and simply sunbathes when the sun is out. Occassionally he can be seen around the back of the house wandering amongst the chickens. He does not appear to have a mate or else the female came to a sticky end during a shoot.

The hailstones arriving yesterday did their best to dent daffodils and small seedlings, but I am hopeful that that is the end of it and winter is just a lingering in the background.

In the polytunnel, I feverishly planted seeds of nicotania, peppers and tomatoes under heat, transplanted some hispi cabbage and watch as my bench gets filled up with trays full of seedlings. This time of the year is mainly used to sew and nourish little seedlings.


Elderwoman said...

I suggest you don't get too friendly with that pheasant. We had one here who was so tame and unscared of us that I nicknamed him 'Phineas the Phearless Pheasant.' It was fun to have him around. I noticed that our neighbour was feeding him, so one day when the neighbour was away and Phineas was hanging around me looking really hungry, on an impulse I held out to him a jar of bird seed that I was carrying, just to see if he was tame enough to eat from it. He dived his head into the jar and happily gobbled the seed. It turned out to have been a really bad mistake on my part. From then on, he started dogging my footsteps, everywhere I went. He even followed me down the lane several times. That was funny and rather cute. Until he started attacking both my husband and me. He drew blood several times. I think he had decided that we were invading his territory. Absolutely nothing deterred him. It got so we were were scared to go out in the garden without overcoats, boots and gloves etc.
I rang the RSPB, who were flummoxed but suggested I try a water pistol. It didn't work. We were at our wits' end.
His other habit was to chase cars. Anyone who stopped and got out and tried to shoo him away got attacked. Eventually, that's how he met his end -- he chased one car too many and got run over and killed, poor thing.
Another pheasant - Phineas's erstwhile rival - immediately took over his territory. This one is appropriately scared of us, thank goodness. It is nice to look out of the window and see him there, but this time I intend to keep our relationship more distant and formal. He cleans up under the bird feeders, but fortunately has not made the connection between us and the seed and I hope he never does!

Rebecca (feltmaking and sustainable living in rural Ireland) said...

Good to hear about a polytunnel in action, ours is new, about to put the plastic on so very exciting. I have trays of seeds on the window sills awaiting their new home!