Thursday, June 24, 2004

A blustery 24 hours or so out here in the flatlands with most of the trees round the houses bent double!

This morning saw a strange female Pheasant appear in the garden. Apart from the dark colour, it is heavily barred all over - unlike a normal Common Pheasant which is spotted or marked with chevrons. Even the belly is barred. It was also quite a bit larger than the female Common Pheasant present at the same time. Is this a variant tenebrosus? Or just another hybrid (as most Pheasants are)?

strange female Pheasant

Andy, my neighbour, popped round to tell me had come across a large chick sat in the middle of one of the nearby farm droves. We nipped down to the spot and there in the middle of the drove was a young Kestrel sitting on the ground about 10 meters from its nest on top of a nearby telegraph pole. It was clearly a victim of the high winds we've had over the last day.

It was in a very open position and certainly prone to any farm vehicles using the drove, so I decided to move it in to the edge of the sugar beet field right below its nest. Here it was sheltered from the wind and also had some shade. It was a noisy bugger, so its folks won't have any problems finding it!

Kestrel chick - victim of high winds

The sixth brood of Tree Sparrows appeared in the garden with two recently fledged young begging for food from their parents. This brings the tally of 16 young fledged to date from the six pairs I had estimated are present.

I looked up the date the first yound appeared last year (30 May) and this years first fledglings were seen in the garden on 1 June! Run like clockword my garden dickies do! Second broods appeared from 21 July last year so a few weeks yet before any more new youngsters are seen.

A baby Pheasant has spent much of the day in the garden. Its nearly the size of a Collared Dove and it seems to be purposely feeding among them so blend in!

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