Country Corner

Pheasants
Pheasants

A pair of courting pheasants - or at least the cock bird is courting, while the hen feigns indifference or perhaps she’s indifferent!

See how he fans his wings and long tail feathers while tilting his entire body towards the hen to show off his wonderful array of colours and patterns.

He has also positioned himself with the sun behind the hen, thus ensuring full effect of his irridescent metallic gloss.

Though pheasants are not native to these lands they have been here so long as to have helped shape the landscape, most of our woodland strips being planted specifically for them. Despite all this posturing and dancing, pheasants are not the most successful species when it comes to breeding in the wild. The recent run of cold, wet summers has not suited them and I have seen very few wild born pheasant chicks throughout. It also seems pheasants have been added to the list of species conservationists love to hate. Now they are talked about in the same vein as giant hogweed, rhodedendron, sycamore, sheep and all species of deer. Mind you, reading between the lines, the arguments against pheasants seem to have more to do with urban-based politics than conservation. Personally, I never tire of seeing pheasants. They are part and parcel of the countryside and long may they remain so.