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Miranda Hodgson

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Nearly time for the pheasant eggs to hatch

Posted by Miranda Hodgson on 22 May 2010 at 10:29 AM

The pheasant at the vegetable garden is now completely hidden by nettles which have grown up around her nest. Every so often I’ll have a quick peek to make sure she’s still on the nest, but the dappled colouring of her feathers is barely visible under the surrounding foliage and it’s only because I know what to look for that I can make out the dark spots of her plumage.



Sometimes she gets up for a walk and we see her head poking out from behind the compost bays before she makes a dash for the cover of an apple tree, and from there to the raspberries, before stealthily working her way over to the pond. After she’s had a drink and something to eat, we might spot her in the long grass of a wild part of the garden as she makes her way back to the nest.

Surely the day is approaching when the eggs will hatch. We first spotted the eggs on the 23rd of April, when we counted nine. A few days later there were 13 of them and as the incubation period is between 23 and 27 days we should soon start to hear the young birds. I’m looking forward to it because I’ve never seen a newly hatched pheasant before and my friend John Davison tells me that they look rather like big bumblebees. Thirteen big bumblebees in a nest sounds like a fine sight.

In the meantime, I was working in a garden the other day and came across another quite different type of egg. Scrabbling at the base of an Iris foetidissima, I found a metallic green egg left over from an Easter egg hunt, back at the start of April. It suddenly occurred to me that I’d never been on an Easter egg hunt before, so finding this foil-wrapped treasure was a first. 

 

 

Comments

pushkin said:

How fascinating, I do hope you get some pictures of babies.  That's a big brood.  Once fledged, do they stay around for a bit?

on 22 May 2010 at 01:58 PM

pushkin said:

Fascinating, I hope to see pictures of the babies in due course.  Once fledged, will they stay around and is there enough pasture to support them?

on 22 May 2010 at 01:59 PM

richardpeeej said:

Hi Miranda Lovely story about the pheasant eggs. Hope you can take a pic of the little hatchlings when they do eventually arrive.

Take care, Richard

on 23 May 2010 at 12:47 AM

Miranda Hodgson said:

Pushkin, it's a rural area and there are many acres for the pheasants to roam in. They should do well! I've just published an update to the story, here:

mygarden.rhs.org.uk/.../an-empty-pheasant-nest-and-looking-at-lily-beetle-larvae.aspx

Richard, unfortunately we missed the hatching but are still keeping an eye open for the young ones.

on 11 Jun 2010 at 11:26 AM