We have lived in this house for over thirty years. In all that time I have been a good friend to the wild birds that visit our garden. Unless we are on holiday, there is always bird food out there - waiting for them. It's the least we can do.
We have a homemade bird table, fat ball containers and a small hanging table with a little roof on. I also put food on the lawn as some birds prefer to feed from the ground. With that food I make a point of putting it in the middle of the lawn in case of surprise attacks by domestic cats.
Over the years we have seen many different avian species including wrens, robins, hedge sparrows, wood pigeons, collared doves, blue tits, long-tailed tits, coal tits, thrushes, jays, magpies, blackbirds, rooks, starlings, a sparrowhawk and earlier this week a hen pheasant!
|Hen pheasant in Ceredigion, Wales by Roger Kidd (Geograph 2017)|
I have often seen pheasants in the verdant countryside and farmland that surrounds this city but I have never before seen one in our garden. Our house is about a mile from the edge of the city and between us and the countryside there are busy roads, suburban streets and gardens, vehicles thundering by and thousands of people going about their daily activities.
It is hard to imagine the journey that bird must have taken before arriving at our house. She spent ten minutes pecking at the birdseed I had left out the day before. Now I missed most of this because I was sound asleep but Shirley saw it and ran upstairs to tell me the news. Bleary-eyed, I looked out of our bedroom window and there she was - a magical creature in unfamiliar territory.
Shirley used her i-phone to capture the top and bottom images. I wonder where that hen pheasant is now. It is hard not to fear the worst.