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February 7th 2018 – ‘Surprised by nature’

February 7th 2018 – ‘Surprised by nature’
February 7, 2018 Sandra Goodwin

A number of weeks ago I wrote about an interesting addition to the bird population in our garden, a cock pheasant whom we subsequently named ‘Fred’. Over the following weeks Fred became a regular visitor, usually around lunchtime, and he became very adept at standing under the ‘bird feeder’ waiting for the smaller birds to scatter seed for him. The pigeons were not very impressed but Fred stood his ground – something  to do with the ‘pecking order’ I believe!

Looking out one morning, I puzzled over how Fred seemed to have grown. I know sunflower seeds are nutritious but not to that extent. Maybe he was fluffing his feathers out because of the cold? I called David to see what he thought, was it Fred, had Fred put on weight, was it our imagination or was this Fred not Fred at all?

This debate rumbled on for over a week. At times Fred appeared to be fat, at times slim. At times he would be relatively calm and at times a bit ‘twitched’.

Then one lunch-time, all was revealed, we saw to our delight that Fred had found a feathery friend! Pictured above are Fred One and Fred Two happily pecking away together.

Both ‘Freds’ have visited the garden regularly over the last couple of weeks. It was a pleasure to observe such regal birds and watch their interaction with the sparrows, tits and finches as they flicked seed on to the ground. It was like the story of the ‘Rich Man’s Table’ only on this occasion the large and powerful were gathering the scraps beneath the table of the small and seemingly insignificant.

After a while a third visitor began to creep into the garden in the form of the neighbour’s large, ginger tomcat. For a while Tigger thought he was undetected but, ever alert, the ‘Freds’ decided to retreat to safety.

Sadly, as they say ‘two is company and three a crowd’ especially when it comes to felines and feathers! We hope they’ll return at some point, in the meantime as Spring approaches I’m sure they’ll find plenty to occupy themselves.

Blessings, Sandra