Monday, February 11, 2013

Fast Pheasant Footwork

In recent weeks I've caught a brief glimpse of some long-tailed, two-legged critter dashing along the fence line, infrequent sightings that were more a blur of motion rather than a real sighting. What was that quick-darting thing? Today a pair of squabbling squirrels must have distracted the bird, causing it to pay less attention to me as I sneaked outside with iPhone in hand, trying to capture an image. 

My motion made him cautious, nervous about the antics of the squirrels and wary of my approach. He darted under the rhododendrons, turned toward the squirrels, reversed and headed back toward the lake and finally took flight, clearing the fence and landing two yards away. 

The photos are blurry, but they definitely show a common or ring-necked pheasant (link) racing toward the lake. Now I'm curious to know more about this species, unusual in my immediate neighborhood but common throughout the Pacific Northwest. Did this guy escape from a penned or netted enclosure? Does he live in nearby Seward Park? Will he ever return now that I have startled him?