The amorous activities are long under way before we reach the kitchen in the morning. Nothing deters this pheasant in his pursuit of the remaining two hens in the garden. It is our presumption that the other resident hens are already sitting on nests, perhaps already hatching eggs, but the remaining two are determined to remain foot loose and fancy free.
He runs across a hen’s path, leaning sideways to best show his fabulous plumage as he drops the wing nearer to her and spreads his tail feathers. It is a statement, “how could you possibly resist someone so beautiful?” and it is repeated again and again and again. If persistence is to be rewarded he surely will, one day, have a harem of adoring hens telling him how they simply found him irresistible.
However, in the meantime, he must continue to chase each round and round the various shrubs in the garden, onto the yew hedges, chasing along on top of the hedges, up into the trees hopping from branch to branch, round and round the house, front garden to back garden, onto the roof and off again until she manages to slip away to a hiding place. At various times during the day I have come on one of the hens tucked in under some bush or other and it always reminds me of coming on a child playing hide-and-seek who looks pleadingly at you asking not to have his hiding place revealed. I always respect their wishes and even occasionally bring a snack of peanuts to sustain their energy.
This cock continues with his pursuit right through the day and, at close of this day, it would seem he has once again been unsuccessful as he and the two hens called a truce to snack on some peanuts – one needs one’s strength to face another day of the same tomorrow.