I couldn’t see them being particularly active, so it would have to be pheasants today.
Hopefully they would have found my freshly filled feeding station. I needn’t have
worried, they had eaten 5 litres of corn since last Sunday and the thing was completely
and utterly empty. They had been very busy and my camera trap revealed that at least
five of them had been camped in front of it until it had run out.
It took the first bird two hours to turn up, a young one just beginning the process
of adopting adult plumage. At a glance, such birds look tatty and untidy, but if
you care to look, they still have some lovely subtle shades in their feathers, they
just aren’t as crisply organised. I took a fair few shots, trying and not really
succeeding in getting lots of rainwater droplets to show up. They were sitting all
over its feathers, but the light wasn’t picking them out, so they didn’t add a lot
to my images.
After about ten minutes, he just upped sticks and headed purposefully off up the
hedge, his position under the feeder taken by a stunning and clearly more important
cock bird. Some more chances then, but always tempered by the sheer quantity of sundry
vegetation and debris that always seems perfectly placed to clutter up a picture.
Everything was going nicely, but the rain was getting worse and as dinnertime approached
with no further activity , I packed.
I don’t suppose anybody will be surprised when I tell them that despite checking
thoroughly for birds in the vicinity, as soon as I stepped outside, half a dozen
burst into the air with a clatter of beating wings. I would rather not have spooked
them close to my hide, but what can you do?
My new mobile approach didn’t last long. The weather forecast for today was for loads
of rain and wind, and I can’t say I fancied sitting in a ditch with my trousers filling
up with cold water. Hides are not all bad, are they? My woodland hide is closest,
but as I suspected it might be, the wind was blowing in exactly the wrong direction,
straight at the main viewing window. I chickened out and headed on back to the farm.
I saw plenty of hares on my trek to the hide, but they were not happy about the weather