Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Guess who called!

Look who called in for breakfast at our feeding station this morning.   This is a red-legged partridge - not native to this country but introduced as a game bird some years ago.

My bird identification book was published in 1972 and at that time
the red-leg was listed as being only present in Spain, parts of France and the extreme South east corner of England.   Now it is all over the UK, although not all that plentiful.   I have seen them before in the area, but never in our garden - so what a nice surprise.

She came, ate quickly at the wheat the farmer had scattered for our visiting pheasants, and then was gone.   This suggests she may have a nest nearby and was just leaving it for long enough to have a drink and a quick meal.   I do hope so.

As far as the pheasants are concerned, one cock pheasant never leaves the lawn and trees at the side of the kitchen window.   He is moulting, his job is done for the year, there is plentiful food on hand, so he wanders up and down aimlessly all day.   He has recently been joined by one hen pheasant, who rejects all his advances.   She is alone and we suspect that she has lost her nest to predators.   Nature is so cruel.   Once a predator has found a nest of eggs they will remove them one by one and the poor old hen will be able to do nothing to stop it.

Other than that there are baby birds everywhere, beaks agape, waiting on branches for mum to push down food.   Yesterday the farmer severely pruned a fir tree, lopping off many of the lower branches.   It has opened up a very dark part of the garden but I suspect some of the babies will be searching for somewhere to sit and wait for breakfast this morning.


jinxxxygirl said...

What a pretty bird Weaver... I had some of my own visitors this morning two Whitetail Deer does and yearling buck i think with little velvet covered nubbies for horns doe had a pretty little spotted fawn that was just bouncing and prancing around... they love our yard and i love to see them out my big bay window as the sun comes up... Hope your having a wonderful day Weaver... I'm just finishing my coffee getting ready to get started on the day... Hugs! deb

A Heron's View said...

Lucky you thats an excellent mornings gift, the sight of that pheasant Pat. I have noticed over the last few years that different varieties of these birds are now seen in the wild and over here there are a lot of black ones about.

Joanne Noragon said...

Most of our baby birds are on their own, now; mama and papa have left. The hawks are especially amusing, they spend an entire day or so calling for room service. And, they're near as big as their parents, mind you.

angryparsnip said...

hahahahahahaha when I read your heading I guess, a small pony that wandered off from the "Travelers" horse show and munching away on your very green grass.
What a beautiful pheasant.
I so enjoy reading about your guest to the bird feeder.

cheers, parsnip

Heather said...

Partridges are so attractive - I haven't seen one for years. It is a hard life for our ground feeding and nesting birds.

Frances said...

The partridge is a gorgeous bird. Hope that you will see this one visiting you all again. I clicked on your photograph to see more detail of the bird's plumage. Really beautiful.

I am so appreciating these spring posts from you letting me know more about stages of plant and animal progress. You capture it all so well in your writing.

Many thanks.

donna baker said...

What a beauty. I would love to see one of those nearby. I do so love the birds. Watching them are one of my simple joys in life.

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

What a beautiful bird to come visit your property! I had to stop putting out bird seed due to a raccoon family, so I don't get to enjoy as many bird as I usually do. I enjoy reading about what shows up at your home. -Jenn

Cro Magnon said...

I remember seeing a small group of them in Shropshire (where my people lived), but I think they'd been released for shooting; they seemed very 'tame'.

thelma said...

What an elegant creature that partridge is, my favourite bird of Yorkshire is the curlew, not that you see it much but its call must surely be the most beautiful to listen to. Sometimes when we drive down country lanes in Yorkshire there are masses of pheasants in front of the car, dinner I say, but we don't ;) all those feathers for goodness sake.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thelma - if anyone gives us a pheasant (the farmer doesn't shoot although he does walk round on the syndicate shoot and does a bit of beating)
the farmer doesn't pluck it but skins it and just takes off the breast and the legs. I personally hate it, but he loves it cooked in red wine.
I looked for the partridge again this morning but it hasn't appeared. I rather agree with Cro, I think it has probably 'escaped' from birds bred for shooting somewhere near.
Thanks to you all for visiting.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Pheasant is peculiar, the gameyness puts off some people, others are put off through the trial of getting at the meat amidst all that sinew!

They keep red legged partirdges semi free range in some of the farmer's fields round here - young birds are caged then released to roam.