If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Mike was up in the garage last week, trying to find more plastic sheeting for the spray painting of the bookcase. Bicycles, garden furniture and miscellaneous paraphernalia were piled onto the drive as the search progressed. You know how it is when you think you’ve got something safely stashed away somewhere, but just can’t find it? Anyway, in the midst of the confusion, a male pheasant walks into the garage as casually as you like. It watched proceedings intently for almost half an hour, side stepping occasionally as a new piece of domestic detritus came its way.

As Mike walked back to the house the pheasant followed him, all the way down the steps. It then stopped at the bottom. As if guarding the way back up. I don’t think it’s Ptolemy. His ‘patch’ seems to go south, from the house down to the river. This new pheasant seemed unwilling to go that way. It might be the bird I’d found sitting on top of the electric gate. The one that had acquired a surprised expression when I’d pushed the remote control button inside the car and the gate had started to swing..

For a couple of days things were pleasant enough. The pheasant seemed quite tame and enjoying of our company on the journey up and down the hill. But over the weekend things took a turn for the worse. The bird decided that, rather than quietly follow Mike down the steps, it wanted to be in front. It overtook and then stood before him, blocking the way. It then hurled itself at Mike, talons outstretched, and sunk its beak into his jeans.

We wondered if it could be Mike’s red jacket that set it off. But yesterday the pheasant attacked me too. And I was wearing my Barbour. I reckoned I could outsmart it, going up to the garage the long way via the drive, but the pheasant has that route covered too. We are cornered.



That group of branches, stuck in the ground next to the steps?

Defensive weaponry. Standing ready for the next action packed ascent.


2017-11-08T19:48:52+00:00February 4th, 2013|Tags: |


  1. Em February 4, 2013 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    I’m sorry to say I laughed out loud at your misfortune so I apologise. It was the sinking of the beak into the jeans that got me. Anyway, I hope you manage to defeat the enemy soon! x

    • Jessica February 4, 2013 at 7:56 pm - Reply

      I know he was only doing what comes naturally.
      But how do we let him know that we are not after his ladies??

  2. Denise February 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Ooo-er, missus! When I was a little girl (I know, hard to believe) one of my uncles was a gamekeeper, and us kiddies used to go beating during the shooting season. Wouldn’t do it now, being a veggie and all, but I digress.

    So, occasionally we would come across a manly pheasant who would stand his ground and then some, red in tooth and claw, as they say. And us kiddies (being kiddies) found the best form of defence was attack. Pheasant would run at us carrying on with all the screeching and such like, so we would run back at it, carrying on twice as loudly.

    Now, whether it would work whilst balancing the equation of sensible adult versus devil-may-care idiot child I do not know. And, of course, there were safety in numbers. But I think the bashing together of two metal bin lids might go a long way to telling Mr Pheasant exactly where his place is. (Which would be over there…as far away as possible.)

    Might be an entertaining opportunity to have a go at filming a video clip?? Mike wouldn’t mind…would he?

    • Jessica February 4, 2013 at 8:00 pm - Reply

      The bin lids sound like an excellent idea Denise. Neighbours might think we’d lost it, but hey ho.
      I’ll let you know re video..

  3. BadPenny February 4, 2013 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Good Grief – what a story. I hope you win.

    • Jessica February 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      So much for that quiet life in the country..

  4. Jill Chandler. February 4, 2013 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    I agree – go out fighting! He has obviously decided that is his territory – it is that time of year, we have em all squaring up all around. So square up to him!

    • Jessica February 4, 2013 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      Once again I am left wondering who (or what) REALLY owns this little bit of land of ours.

  5. Simone February 4, 2013 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    Maybe he thinks you’re pheasant pluckers and is warding you off!!!

    • Jessica February 4, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

      Perhaps we should try waving a big white feather next time we brave the steps? Or maybe that will make things worse..

  6. Rosie February 4, 2013 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    I remember reading a story last year about an aggressive pheasant who stopped some poor people in whose garden it resided getting any visitors including the milk man and postman! When I was a child people in our little street were terrorised by a jackdaw who would fly out from gateways and other hiding places and flit around your head squawking loudly – is was quite scary going down the other end of the street to play with my friend. Good luck with warding off your aggressive visitor:)

    • Jessica February 4, 2013 at 8:12 pm - Reply

      Re postman. I can easily see how that could happen Rosie. And I hope it isn’t jackdaws next!

  7. Denise February 4, 2013 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    Hmmmm 4th Feb today – seems he has escaped deadline for pheasant supperdish of the year eh?

    • Jessica February 4, 2013 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      When there were 12 on the lawn over Christmas Mike had Delia out. Funny how I never seemed to have any of the other ingredients to hand.

  8. Anne February 4, 2013 at 7:41 pm - Reply

    Sorry – I’m laughing!! But it can’t be pleasant being terrorised by the pheasant (oops, that was an unintentional bit of rhyme!)

    • Jessica February 4, 2013 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      It feels very odd, having to walk up your own steps, tree branch held aloft, looking into every shadow along the way..

  9. haggiz February 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    I never knew they did that! Jx

    • Jessica February 4, 2013 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      Neither did I Julie.

  10. CherryPie February 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    What curious behavious after being so placid for a few days!

    • Jessica February 4, 2013 at 11:50 pm - Reply

      Perhaps in walking quietly along with us he was actually trying to demonstrate ‘ownership’ of the space. When we didn’t take the hint, he had to get more forceful. I’m thinking of deer on the rut that start off by shadowing one another in the hope that one will just back off.

  11. John February 4, 2013 at 10:49 pm - Reply

    Hormones. Eh?

    • Jessica February 5, 2013 at 12:06 am - Reply

      Hopefully the pheasant mating season is short.

  12. Josephine February 5, 2013 at 12:07 am - Reply

    You need to protect your face, seriously.
    Male wild turkeys are well known to flog anyone who are considered threatening in their chosen domain, so I would think that the male pheasant plays by those same set of rules.
    He is protecting his territory, and will not be swayed.
    Whack him if you have too !

    • Jessica February 5, 2013 at 12:17 am - Reply

      Thanks for the warning Jo. He certainly seems serious..

  13. Anny February 5, 2013 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Perhaps the pheasants are revolting…

    • Jessica February 5, 2013 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      They are when they’re pecking you, otherwise quite cute!! 🙂

  14. Sue February 5, 2013 at 11:11 am - Reply

    It’s a bit much when you can’t have access to your own place ….. but I’d love to see a video clip of this……pretty please 🙂

    We have lots of pheasants here at the moment but they seem to be being kept nicely in their place by the cockerels and the geese, so we at least, are safe.

    The sticks are a good idea.

    Sue xx

    • Jessica February 5, 2013 at 1:43 pm - Reply

      I may need to practice a bit, we just have an old digital camera with a video function. Not sure what it can do!
      Sounds like I really should think about geese… slug control, pheasant control…

  15. Wendy February 5, 2013 at 5:48 pm - Reply

    Hello – I really enjoyed reading this. My visiting pheasants are always fairly timid, but then I also have geese and so I guess they’ve made it clear who the territory really belongs to.

    • Jessica February 5, 2013 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Wendy and welcome to rusty duck!
      I would also like to have geese at some point. We rented a cottage on a farm that had geese and they were such characters (see Geese tab). Your post on getting them settled in is essential reading!

  16. starproms February 5, 2013 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Oo er I didn’t know they did that! You’ll have to be careful in future. Pretty scary.

    • Jessica February 5, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      Neither did we. Hopefully he will soon accept that he can’t frighten us away, and settle down!

  17. Annie @ knitsofacto February 5, 2013 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    Where I live we’d be the laughing stock if said pheasant didn’t rapidly find his way into a pie … which is not to say we’d do that, but it would be tempting, otherwise we’d have a bunch of gawpers hanging about for the entertainment value of watching us go about our day attempting to remain unmolested!

    • Jessica February 5, 2013 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      It’s much the same here. Our neighbour has a gun (which is his solution to every wildlife related problem), and there are regular shooting parties out, or were until the season closed. Perhaps that is why we seem to have accumulated so many pheasants – they know a soft touch when they spot one!

  18. Viv February 5, 2013 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    Ouch! Luckily Fred the Pheasant in our Beach Cottage garden seems quite placid but I might think twice now about getting too close to him. I’m wondering if black plastic might help in this situation!! – I can’t quite see how yet but will let you know if I come up with anything – it is very good for most things – I could even lend you some for your spray booth!

    • Jessica February 6, 2013 at 9:45 am - Reply

      They just do what comes naturally don’t they. At this time of year it’s fight… however calm they may be the rest of the time.

  19. rachel February 5, 2013 at 11:19 pm - Reply

    I read this out to The Gardener, who then told me how one of his elderly customers was trapped in her car for half an hour before she could get into her own home, because of just that sort of behaviour from a pheasant. Out of season, but her neighbour shot it anyway – in self-defence, apparently. Just sayin’…….

    • Jessica February 6, 2013 at 9:52 am - Reply

      I can believe it. I saw ours run after a poor lady who was just driving her car down the road..

  20. Natalie February 6, 2013 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Mating season coming on? I would be tempted to respond the way I would to a rooster who challenged me: gently but firmly let the bird know he’s not going to get away with that crap! 🙂 When my roosters were growing up, if I saw them mount a hen in my presence, I’d gently knock them off. I also pick them up regularly and stroke them until they stop struggling, then release them. Now, I’m not exactly sure how to translate to “pheasant.” Perhaps yell at him and don’t back down? Otoh, you don’t want a full-on pheasant attack!

    We have wild turkeys in our yard regularly now but they flee whenever they see me. Maybe the roosters have been talking to them? 🙂

    • Jessica February 6, 2013 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      I think yell and don’t back down.
      He is kind of cuddly, but I don’t reckon on my chances of retaining all my fingers if I tried stroking..

  21. ropcorn February 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Ops, hopefully the pheasant will return to his initial good behaviour soon. Birds sure can be feisty though. Hehe.

    • Jessica February 8, 2013 at 2:57 pm - Reply

      Certainly when they have a territory, or babies to defend!

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