Thursday, 3 August 2017
Still going strong
Well look who turned up this morning. I hadn't even had time to get dressed and he was already shouting for his breakfast outside the front door, just like old times.
This pheasant first appeared in the garden five years ago and was a mature bird then so he must be at least six years old. He was shy and reserved at first but has been taking food from my hand for four years. (That behaviour, and the markings around his neck, make me sure it is the same bird.)
He disappears each July to moult and reappears with new body feathers (and, presumably, new wing feathers) but without a tail. That regrows over the next three or four weeks. His head is moulted separately so it is usually autumn by the time he is back to his finest. Last year his summer break lasted seven weeks and I was afraid he wouldn't return. This year he has only been gone three weeks so I shall have to order another supply of peanuts.
After eating the food I give him he goes to peck around under the bird feeders. After that there doesn't seem to be much to do so he often stands in the garden for ages. If it is raining he hides under a bush. If it is sunny he often goes into the kitchen garden for a snooze under the raspberries or takes a dust bath in one of the vegetable beds.
It is good to see him back and I hope he'll stick around for a few more years.