Stand By Your Beds..

Now, my experience of lady pheasants is neither long nor exhaustive. But I had thought they tend to be shrinking violets, preferring to stay within the shrubby undergrowth, rarely seen. Isn’t it the males who do noise and all the prancing about?

Possibly not.

First spotted having a good old scout around at Ptolemy’s favourite Flappy Place, our latest arrival then came strutting along the garden path, up the steps and across to the bird table. She paused only briefly in her journey to glare at us through the kitchen window before marching on straight through the previously floriferous Geum ‘Leonard’s Variety’ and off down the terrace wall.

The boys have gone into hiding.

The new Mrs P has all the demureness of Nora Batty. All she needs now is a broom.


2018-03-27T18:24:03+00:00April 7th, 2014|Tags: |


  1. Jessica April 7, 2014 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    For readers outside the UK, Nora Batty is a character from the long running BBC TV show, Last of the Summer Wine. It featured a trio of chaps in their autumn years who, with nothing much else to do, wandered around town generally creating mayhem. Nora took no prisoners. She could generally be seen chasing them off her newly polished front step with a mop or a broom.

  2. Suzanne April 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    We do get those programs here on public television. Of course they are older shows and the newer ones like Downton Abbey and etc usually several months after they air there. These comedies are not everyone’s cup of tea here. You either enjoy British humor or not. I grew up enjoying “the goods”, Monty Python, etc and still watch any British show we are lucky enough to get here.
    I guess it’s that time of year for pheasants to look for dates. I image there could be a bunch of activity in your gardens. I drive by a hunting preserve where they bring in pheasants. I think more are hit by motorists than shot. Farm raised birds know nothing about hiding in the brush or staying out of the road.

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 5:44 pm - Reply

      It’s the same here, many are killed on the roads, half the time because they are too busy fighting each other to see what’s coming. I hope the arrival of a female will not escalate the fighting in the garden but fear it will.

  3. Sue April 7, 2014 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a female of the species in such detail before, they are usually to be seen scurrying off as fast as their legs and very occasionally wings will carry them. She must be a stroppy, confident kind of gal πŸ™‚

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 5:51 pm - Reply

      I think she’ll give the boys a run for their money!

  4. Linda April 7, 2014 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica…..
    Isn’t she regal! AND confident! Did she linger long enough to have a nibble or two?
    Perhaps you will have some “wee” visitors to contend with soon.
    Enjoy your week ahead!
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 5:54 pm - Reply

      The first year we were here I was up on the bank and heard soft rustling. Then out from behind a bush popped Mum and ten baby pheasant chicks, very newly hatched I’d say. Love to see it again, hopefully with camera this time..

      • Linda April 8, 2014 at 12:22 am - Reply

        Oh…..that would be wonderful!
        Good luck with that…….

        • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 10:29 am - Reply

          Wouldn’t it? I need to think of a way of having a camera with me at all times, even when out weeding. Perhaps my beat up old phone, so longer supported by Apple!

  5. Jo April 7, 2014 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Ahh, but does she have wrinkled legs like Nora Batty?

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 5:59 pm - Reply

      Mercifully not! πŸ™‚

  6. Sue at GLAllotments April 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    I was going to ask the same question as Jo. At the RSPB reserves near to us there are often pheasants of both sexes browsing.

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 6:06 pm - Reply

      Being a shorter than average girl, I could never find tights to fit. I was always terrified I’d end up looking like Nora..

  7. Crafty Gardener April 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm - Reply

    Beautiful lady. We love to watch Last of the Summer Wine, so had a chuckle when you referred to her as Nora Batty πŸ™‚

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      It was such a surprise to see her, and I’ve certainly never seen such a bold looking lady pheasant so close to the house.

  8. Christina April 7, 2014 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Last of the Summer Wine used to be quite a favourite of mine, partly because I love the Yorkshire countryside. your ‘lady’ does seem very forward, hope she doesn’t cause as much trouble as the male of the species!

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 6:15 pm - Reply

      She has the look of one who will cause even more trouble!

  9. Simone April 7, 2014 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    They say the quiet ones are the worst!

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 6:16 pm - Reply

      That’s all right then. We don’t seem to be able to do quiet ones here.. !

  10. Chloris April 7, 2014 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    She must be an emancipated,feminist lady pheasant. She should be busy with her eggs not strutting around the garden. I never see any lady pheasants. but my resident male pheasant, The Vicar, is getting ruder and more insolent every day. When I try to shoo him away from the fritillaries, he just glares at me malevolently. When I am in the house he comes and pulls rude faces at me through the window.

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 6:28 pm - Reply

      It would be just my luck wouldn’t it.
      My two cold frames are under one of the kitchen windows. Ptolemy has discovered that when the lids are closed he can jump up on top and is almost at sill level. He can, and does, peer in.. We can only be thankful that he and The Vicar can never meet up and exchange notes!

  11. Pauline April 7, 2014 at 2:47 pm - Reply

    Only occasionally do we get female pheasants in the garden, but when driving through the village, often see the male with about a dozen females in tow! Yours seems to be a bit of a Brazen Hussy to me!

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 6:31 pm - Reply

      There’s always one isn’t there.

  12. Em April 7, 2014 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    I only ever see them on the road displaying just as little brain s their male counterparts. They taste REALLY nice though….sorry!

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      Nooooo!!! Besides, I want to see if there will be babies.. πŸ™‚

  13. Christina April 7, 2014 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    Hi Jessica, hadn’t thought about it before your post, but your are right, when we were in England we only saw pheasants boys in the fields. Your pheasant lady is so pretty, she certainly doesn’t have to hide in the woods ;-)! Have a good week!

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 6:43 pm - Reply

      She is very elegant isn’t she. I hope she doesn’t just disappear again.

  14. Serendipity April 7, 2014 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    You might find a few more appear soon. The males tend to collect a harem and spend ages showing off and posing. The females generally ignore them and carry on gossiping among themselves. We had a family of babies reared in the rhubarb patch one year, but I don’t think they survived. The mum flew off and they wandered off through next door’s fence. Not terribly bright! xx

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 7:08 pm - Reply

      Oh, poor babies!
      It sounds like it’s all a bit imbalanced here, two males and one female (so far). It doesn’t make for a quiet life!

  15. Philippa April 7, 2014 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    We’re on holiday in the Lake District at the moment. There is a lady pheasant who keeps poking around the back of the house and looking intently in through the windows … I think she’s eyeing up a new nest.

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      She could be… or previous occupants could have been feeding her.
      I felt very guilty when we left our rented cottage, I’d been feeding the geese that wandered around outside so they were forever looking for us through the windows. They even rapped on the door with their beaks. I dread to think what the next lot of tenants thought..

  16. Wendy April 7, 2014 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    Wonderful! She does sound as though she could take on Ptolemy and the boys. And this sounds a bit like geese, Jessica, as you’ll know – the males strut around and think they’re in charge, but they’re not – it’s really the females.

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      The shepherd at our rented cottage used to describe the chief gander as “all mouth and trousers”. I think that about summed it up.

  17. elaine April 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    The females look so unassuming don’t they – but I guess like all women they are in charge (and sound very like a domestic hen when they make a noise).

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      This one looks very much in charge.. I don’t think I’ll risk crossing her. She didn’t make any noise though, maybe next time. I’ve always wanted chickens.

  18. Alison April 7, 2014 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    She does kind of look like she’s on the warpath. That’s a very determined look in her eyes.

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 7:27 pm - Reply

      Isn’t it just!

  19. Denise April 7, 2014 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Ooooh, she’s looking like she is meaning business! There’s a gal who wants a manly piece of featherage for her babies…

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 7:29 pm - Reply

      They’re both cowering under the bushes, that’s the trouble. In fact, now I come to think of it, the only time I’ve heard the males in the last couple of days they’ve been over the other side of the river…

  20. countrysidetales April 7, 2014 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Brilliant picture. Talk about a thousand words! Poor Ptolemy….

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm - Reply

      It was a very lucky picture. Mike took it through a window, hand held, with Mrs P on the move.
      Poor Ptolemy indeed, possibly he is genuinely hen pecked.

  21. snowbird April 7, 2014 at 6:43 pm - Reply

    What a fine looking gal eh? She does seem to have attitude….maybe lots of little guys soon!xxx

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 7:34 pm - Reply

      Little guys would be fab wouldn’t it? The trouble is there are buzzards (or some such) circling constantly overhead.

  22. frayed at the edge April 7, 2014 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    I rarely see females, although there are lots of males in the fields ……… and playing chicken running across the road in front of the car!

    • Jessica April 7, 2014 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      Scottish ladies obviously behave with more decorum Anne!

  23. Sarah April 7, 2014 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    The boys have obviously told her about the delights of your garden! Sarah x

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 10:18 am - Reply

      She followed their normal route almost exactly, so either she has been here with them before or she picked up their scent. Given how confident she was probably the former.

  24. Mark and Gaz April 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    One learns something new everyday and on this occasion that lady pheasants are not as meek as I perceived them to be before!

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 10:20 am - Reply

      Nor me. I hope she does not become yet another adversary!

  25. CJ April 7, 2014 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Fantastic, she’s beautiful. Lucky you having such beautiful birds coming to your garden. Although I know you could no doubt do without the damage. But you’d miss them if they left!

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 10:23 am - Reply

      The males do disappear over the summer, presumably there is enough food around elsewhere. Or maybe our little wood is where they come to breed and then disperse. But I do miss them when they’re not here!

  26. wherefivevalleysmeet April 7, 2014 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    FAB – U – LOUS – brilliant shot Jessica.

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 10:25 am - Reply

      Thanks Rosemary.
      I saw this on Twitter the other day and thought of you:
      I managed to open it even when I was not logged in, so you should be able to as well, whether you have an account or not.

      • wherefivevalleysmeet April 8, 2014 at 11:14 pm - Reply

        Lovely – thank you Jessica – two of my favourite thingsβ™‘

        • Jessica April 9, 2014 at 9:16 am - Reply

          Pleasure. Maybe bees are the solution to keeping the pheasants off my fritillaries!

  27. threadspider April 8, 2014 at 7:19 am - Reply

    She looks like a fine character! I hope she is a successful nester-they often seem to have little maternal feeling. We find eggs randomly scattered, where they have been caught short!

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 10:37 am - Reply

      Perhaps they are all becoming emancipated in these enlightened times, no longer feeling the need to be tied to the nest!

  28. Joanne April 8, 2014 at 10:52 am - Reply

    I don’t know what I liked best, Glaring at you through the window or the part about Norah Batty. We spotted a male & female in the field the other day.

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      Even the males shy away when they see us at the window, this one thinks she’s boss all right.

  29. woolythymes April 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    gosh, does she have attitude or what???? good luck with the garden. looks like she could do quite a job on it if she finds herself on a ‘mission’!!!

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      Another pecking beak. Oh dear..

  30. Caro April 8, 2014 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    Living on the edge of a city, I only ever see them when I’m driving through the countryside near to my parents and occasionally, very sadly, as roadkill on woodland edged motorways. They’re beautiful birds and, like you, I’d rather see them alive than served up for dinner. Lovely photo, as usual!

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 9:19 pm - Reply

      They are constantly running up and down the country lanes here and dash out in front of cars. I would think there are times when it is impossible to avoid them. That would not make my day.

  31. deb April 8, 2014 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    nora is a beauty !

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      I think that name might just stick!

  32. Abby April 8, 2014 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    Oh, my, she’s a bit of a madam isn’t she?! Or a Madame! She’ll be whipping The Boys into shape! Lots of fun ahead! Abby x

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 9:26 pm - Reply

      She will take no nonsense this one, for sure.

  33. Rosie April 8, 2014 at 8:05 pm - Reply

    She really does have that beady eyed ‘Nora Batty leaning on her broom’ look doesn’t she? How unusual that she was out and about! At least in your garden she and her fellows are safe – i see some awfully squished ones on the roads sometimes:)

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      They are safe as long as they can avoid foxes, and the human hunters over the winter. They wander on to neighbours’ land, unfortunately. Perhaps something startled her enough to bring her closer to the house than she would normally come.

  34. CherryPie April 8, 2014 at 9:30 pm - Reply

    Pheasants do have a tendency for bravery (or stupidity). Strutting out onto the road in front of traffic! Your lady pheasant has a lot of character!

    • Jessica April 8, 2014 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      A couple of years ago a male pheasant took to attacking us. Launching himself at something several times bigger than him was pretty brave. Or stupid.

  35. CathyT April 9, 2014 at 7:12 am - Reply

    Lovely picture Jessica. Hope Nora rears a brood so you can enjoy (but not in a rhubarb patch!)

    • Jessica April 9, 2014 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Hi Cathy, thanks and welcome to rusty duck.
      Having seen the little chicks running about here before I think I might tolerate them wherever they are. It’s when they grow up and all those extra beaks start looking for something to eat there might be a problem!!

  36. islandthreads April 9, 2014 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Jessica as your blog post opened on my computer screen I saw the pheasant head and though ‘Oh no! now what’ she sounds like a very brash no nonsense lady, perhaps she’ll sort the boys out and keep them in check …. Frances

    • Jessica April 9, 2014 at 10:05 pm - Reply

      At the very least she should keep them busy..

  37. Amy at love made my home April 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    Oh dear, things don’t get any better or any easier do they!! Let’s just hope that she doesn’t get herself a broom, can you imagine!!!!! xx

    • Jessica April 9, 2014 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      I have plenty of places she could sweep up?

  38. Charles Lock April 9, 2014 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Well I cannot remember the last time I paid for a pheasant. I pick up fresh ones from the side of the road, and very good they are too. The feathers are very useful for making trout flies, including the famous PTN, or pheasant tail nymph. I think they become more stupid the further west you go although I think the partridges on Exmoor could give them a run for their money in the stupidity stakes. Mind you when you look that good you do have to make allowances.

    • Jessica April 9, 2014 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      I couldn’t eat something I have watched grazing contentedly on the lawn, especially if it has a name.. although when their range extends to the flower beds I confess it does get difficult!

  39. Cathy April 9, 2014 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    You could collate your posts about the pheasants and make a Blurb or other photo book about them – ‘The Pheasant’s Tail’…..

    • Jessica April 9, 2014 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      He’d want royalties. His own dish of bird seed and all the Frits he could eat..

  40. Natalie Scarberry April 10, 2014 at 1:42 am - Reply

    What a beautiful bird! I’ve never seen a pheasant up close. Wish we had some here. Hugs, Natalie πŸ™‚

    • Jessica April 10, 2014 at 9:17 am - Reply

      They are beautiful birds, you may not want them in your garden though!

  41. Natalie April 10, 2014 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    Looks like one of my chickens with attitude!!

    • Jessica April 10, 2014 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      There is no shortage of attitude here either!

  42. Willow April 10, 2014 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    She is beautiful ~ and that is a great photo.
    I have a soft spot for pheasants, we don’t see many anymore.

    • Jessica April 11, 2014 at 9:18 am - Reply

      There is a look of determination in those eyes. It’s a shame you don’t see them so much.

  43. Janet/Plantaliscious April 20, 2014 at 6:40 am - Reply

    That’s hilarious! Maybe she doesn’t like fritillaries and will leave them alone, and keep Ptolemy off them too…

    • Jessica April 20, 2014 at 10:42 am - Reply

      I haven’t seen her since. Ptolemy still drops by first thing in the morning but is spending more time across the river. I suspect that’s where the nest is, so you could be right!

I'd love to hear from you..