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.