Sunday, 17 February 2013

A Walk on the Wild Side

For the past few weeks it has been too wet for me to walk in the fields but yesterday they had dried up  considerably so the farmer and I had a walk after lunch.   I had been eager to go because we have six hen pheasants who spend most of their day under our bird feeders and I wanted to trace their path.

They roose in our plantain (see photograph) every night, sitting on the lower branches.   When the farmer takes the dogs for their evening walk as the sun goes down, he sees all six, walking in single file down the side of the hedgerow towards their roost.   And when he takes the dogs at sun-up in the morning he seems the same six walking in single file up the hedgerow to the bird feeders.   I have been trying to get a photograph of them but it is useless through double glazing and each time I creep out of the back door and peep round the corner they go discreetly under the holly trees until I have gone.

We saw that a rabbit's nest had been pulled out and completely destroyed in the plantain, most likely by a fox, so those hens are wise to roost up in the branches out of his reach.

There is still wood to be gathered, wood which was felled by the Winter gales.   The farmer has pulled it out of the beck so that it can dry in the sun but any day now he will bring it into the shed to be sawn into logs on the next wet day.



I hope you can see the pulled out nest in the photograph.   The rabbit population is very active again after months when conditions were so wet that many of them would have been flooded out.   Not that there seems to be any shortage of rabbits around, as Tess and Tip know only too well.   In the little barn at the bottom of the pasture we seem to once again have a family of sandy-coloured ones - very distinctive to us and probably to that fox too.  

13 comments:

Heather said...

It's good to know that some wildlife has survived the awful conditions of the past few months. What a hard time they have all had. We have lovely sunshine here today and I am hoping that I might get a bit of weeding done if the lawn is not too soggy to stand on.

Dave King said...

Yes, it really amazes me how so much wildlife does manage to survive the ravages of inclement weather.

John Gray said...

Funny, we also have 6 pat..with one cock overseeing them
Two,are more tame than most of my own hens

Country Gal said...

Lovely photos ! We have a lot of cotton tails here and they love bird seed they sit under our feeders collecting the seed from the ground. Wildlife adapts so well . We are so blessed to experience natures beauty every day ! Have a wonderful day !

Crafty Green Poet said...

there's something amusing to me about the thought of that many pheasants in a garden!

Poor rabbits, but I'm sure there are plenty enough of them around

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Oh it must be lovely to see so many of the pheasant hens - they are quite rare here. They had been imported by a hunting club for sport (and why is it called sport when you raise birds, release them and then shoot them?) and some escaped and raised their little families. I would like to see an explosion of the population of pheasants, they are such interesting birds.

Gerry Snape said...

ruffiany old fox ...cunning and clever...watch out rabbits...or you'll make a rabbit pie!...glad that you are getting out again and a bit of dryer weather Pat!

ChrisJ said...

I love hearing about your daily farm life. Amazingly here in town (tho' it is not a very towny town,) we have rabbits that live under our juniper bushes and we see them out playing in the circle all the time. Quite amazing since there are so many hawks around as well as coyotes.

the wild magnolia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the wild magnolia said...

you do have an interesting life. pea hens, and pheasants are beautiful, they make the world a better place.

i do not understand either, raising animals, to kill them as a "sport".

looking forward to pictures of the pea hens.

thank you for sharing.

Hildred said...

Your header is absolutely gorgeous, Pat - lovely pictures - so long since I've been in an environment where pheasants prosper.

MorningAJ said...

I'm glad things are finally drying out up there. They're saying it's going to turn cold again, but I think it is supposed to be dry. That will make a change!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Well, even if the weather is wet and cold there are still your comments to read and your blogs to look at - and that is such good company. Thanks for taking part.