He’s back!

I woke suddenly this morning at 4am and then heard a loud squawking outside. I immediately knew who was prowling round the garden.

Mr. Pheasant!

He has stayed on the fields all winter with his harem of ladies, but now he is patrolling the garden as if he owns it. Pheasants have a reputation for eating snakeshead fritillary flowers, and last year he had quite a few of my flowers.

Rusty pheasant

Now is the time to try and make him think that there is already another pheasant who owns the woodland. Our lovely daughter gave me this rusty pheasant last year as part of my birthday present, we will now see if it works.

Rusty pheasant

Do you think it will fool him? Hopefully, if he just has a quick look, he might be fooled into going away. How does he remember the snakes head fritillaries from one year to the next? How does he know just when to come? The vertical leaves beyond the pheasant belong to the fritillaries and some already have their flower buds showing, I don’t want to find that any have been eaten this year. If this doesn’t work, I have plans B  and C waiting in the wings, plan D involves a large casserole and a nice hot oven!

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to He’s back!

  1. rusty duck says:

    Good luck. I shall be watching with great interest.. Am intrigued by plans B & C and hoping it doesn’t come to D. Although I do understand your frustration..

    • Pauline says:

      I too am hoping it doesn’t come to plan D Jessica, I don’t think I could do the dirty deed, someone else would have to do it for me!

  2. Sigrun says:

    Oh oh, a nice hot oven! I think, he is realy cute, but also very delicious!;))

    I’ve baught me an iron cat today, hopefully it will prohibite that other cats have a shit in my garden.


    • Pauline says:

      I do hope your new cat keeps the others away Sigrun, they can be such a nuisance. I do rather like a bit of roast pheasant myself when we go out for a meal, but I hope it doesn’t come to that!

  3. Rachael says:

    Glad to see your rusty pheasant is being put to good use, I just hope he works, for the pheasant’s sake as much as your flowers xx

    • Pauline says:

      I hope he is good at guarding my flowers Rachael, I don’t really want to eat him! Even if plan B doesn’t work, plan C should, so he should be safe for now.

  4. Alain says:

    Good luck with your rusty pheasant. I hope he is up to the task! We don’t have pheasants but we have wild turkeys. They would have to fly over the fence to get in the garden and they seem reluctant to do that. I have seen them looking in from the outside though.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Alain, once the flowers appear I will be out examining them each morning to make sure they haven’t had a bite taken out of them! I think probably your turkeys must be heavier than our pheasants, who are quite happy to fly in and out of the garden.

  5. Jane Scorer says:

    I think the rest of his harem lives in my garden – one of them laid a whole clutch of eggs under a shrub last year. Beautiful though they are, they are big clumsy birds as they blunder about through the beds and borders, and cause a lot of damage. Plan D and the casserole sounds fine to me !!

    • Pauline says:

      Thank goodness Jane, I haven’t seen the females in the garden yet. Last year we had a white female who made her nest in my neighbours garden, unfortunately one morning she just found a pile of white feathers, the fox had got her. Hopefully plan D won’t be needed!

  6. Alison says:

    I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that your fake bird works to keep the real one away from your Fritillarias.

  7. Cathy says:

    I hope it works Pauline! And I sincerely hope it doesn’t come to plan D!

  8. Cathy says:

    As soon as I saw your title I thought ‘uh-oh’…. 🙁 Might placing the base just below ground level help the deception do you think, Pauline? And how good is a pheasant’s eyesight….?

    • Pauline says:

      I thought I might move it around each day Cathy, trying to confuse him! I don’t know if they have good eyesight or not, but he reacts to the slightest movement near the windows.

  9. AnnetteM says:

    Wishing you luck – it must be so frustrating to lose flowers.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Annette, it was frustrating last year, but then I found it was only the flowers round the edge that had had a bite taken out of them. All the flowers in the centre seemed to escape, so at least I had some left!

  10. Oh, I do hope he doesn’t get them Pauline (even around the edge). I am particularly sympathetic at the moment because my first frit meleagris are at the curved stem heaving out of the ground stage (planted in autumn last year, have high hopes of them enjoying it here – and setting seed). Hope to look back at you later and find that yours are flowering without being decimated. (And isn’t your daughter clever to have made something that is also a lovely garden ornament?)

    • Pauline says:

      So far today (Monday), no sign of any intruders Cathy! I think it will be a couple of weeks before the flowers finally appear, but it will depend on the weather. I started off with just a few bulbs but by sprinkling the seed, which takes 4 or 5 years to reach flowering, we now have quite a sizeable area, spreading as the years go by. I will look forward to photos of yours!
      I think my daughter bought the pheasant, she always manages to find lovely presents for me.

  11. snowbird says:

    Oh noooooo….hopefully NOT the pot!!! What a lovely bird, I hope he keeps away from your Fritillarias, the ornamental bird looks good, I do hope it works. I have been eagerly looking out for my Fritillarias, I was beginning to think I’d lost them but they are just beginning to poke through the ground, they are late this year.xxx

    • Pauline says:

      I hope it won’t come to the pot, but that is how Beth Chatto deals with hers Dina! The fritillaries are later than usual this year, must be because of all the frost we had earlier.

  12. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Beautiful bird. I like plan D and think that you could bring back a fashion of old by wearing heavily feathered hats ’round the garden as a warning to others!

    • Pauline says:

      Funny you should say that Peter, I found a handful of pheasant feathers on the back lawn the other day. Have the two males decided to fight or just have a good scratch? Whichever it is, only one pheasant seems to be with me now!

Comments are closed.