A pheasant named Bert

We moved into the cottage in Aberdeenshire in mid December. It didn’t take long to realise we shared the garden with lots of others! The cottage had been empty for 18 months and in that time the garden had grown wild. It maybe some people’s nightmare and indeed our neighbours were championing getting the strimmer out as soon as the weather allowed. What I’ve learnt watching the garden for the last 3 months is why turn it into the typical British garden with short trimmed lawns and neat borders? We have a huge amount of wildlife here that call the garden home and I would like to encourage it, the wilder the better.

That brings me onto Bert! We soon realised Bert called the garden his home. He walks around the front and back garden calling loudly. Bert likes to feed on the bird seed. With two Springer Spaniels I always do a check before letting them out! He has the most beautiful feathers and is quite the sight proudly strutting his stuff. This last week I noticed he had been calling for most of the day and was strutting more often than usual. After a day or so I saw the female. She is very plain and smaller compared to Bert but no less beautiful. Her feathers are mostly browns and she also likes the bird seed! I did some research and Bert is trying to impress her prior to mating. We could end up with a few females here for Bert. We haven’t named her yet, that will come but we don’t know her very well yet!

The garden is perfect for them and their young. Lots of bushes, trees and hiding places. She will make her nest on the ground and lay her eggs. They hatch fully feathered with eyes open and follow mum and feed themselves. It would make me so happy to see baby Pheasants here.

As for Bert he roosts I believe on the cottage roof. I can hear him up there at night the occasional crow and walking about. There are plenty of trees around but he seems to prefer the roof. He makes me smile everyday, seeing him strutting around. He surprised me at how fast he can run and fly. I used to think of them as quite slow birds. He hasn’t become too familiar with us and I want to keep it that way, safer for him as not all humans will be kind. They are bred up here solely for shooting which is such a shame.

Who knows I maybe writing in a month or so about Bert and his family. I certainly hope so!


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