To the right of our porch, where it joins on to the front wall of the house, is a New Dawn climbing rose. At its feet, aquelegia self-seed every year, and as the position faces due South they are already grown quite tall.
A hen pheasant has chosen this spot for her nest this year, laying one egg each day and carefully covering them with bits of straw and leaves, coming next morning to lay another egg. The farmer found the nest yesterday, after seeing the hen pheasant in the front walled garden every day for the last week.
This morning, straight after breakfast, I crept out to look if she was on the nest. She wasn't, so I took a couple of photographs for you to see. They are neither of them good shots but I wanted to get out of her way as quickly as possible and I didn't wish to disturb anything.
A hen pheasant laid in the garden last year and I worried that she would never get the young ones out of the garden, because it has quite a high wall round it. But she led them down to the gate, flew over and then encouraged them to go under the gate. Pheasant always quit the nest site quickly after the chicks are hatched as there is quite a strong smell from the empty eggs and this can be picked up by the fox.
Another exciting thing to keep my eye on.