Three bird stories today - two sad ones and then a cheerful one to end with - and a rather tatty photograph but the best I could manage as I hardly dare move nearer for fear of disturbing her.
First of all - if you have been reading my blog regularly you will know that the farmer disturbed a robin nesting in a watering can. She never returned - sadly as there were five eggs in her nest. Cobwebs grew thickly over the hole, so it was obvious that she hadn't been back. I have just written an e mail to the rspb asking them whether they think she will start again - I do hope so as we both feel so sad at disturbing her.
Ever since we came back from Northumberland the farmer has noticed a cock pheasant in the long grass of the paddock, more or less in the same place; he didn't seem to be moving. This morning the farmer went into the paddock and picked him up. He was unable to move as he had a broken leg, so sadly the farmer had to put him out of his misery. It did strike me how wild animals and birds who are injured just seem to stand and await their fate.
Thirdly, a lovely happy piece of news. Mrs pheasant,
who nested just outside our front door, has brought off her brood. Just after lunch today I was upstairs and the farmer was coming downstairs when he called for me to look out of the bedroom window. There she was on the front lawn with at least seven babies. There is plenty of cover for them as the plants are growing quite tall, but we suspect that she will take them out of the garden and into the field tonight as dusk falls. I took the photograph - the best I could get.
Opposite the farm, on the lane where the waller rebuilt some of the stone walls a couple of weeks ago, he cut down a bush and left the debris on the lane side. This morning the farmer went over the lane intending to gather up all the twiggy bits to burn on the bonfire. Just in time he noticed another hen pheasant sitting among the branches on the deep grass, so he has left well alone. Let's hope she brings her brood off too.