The Pondering Pheasant

(Not the actual pheasant)

Pheasants can fly. I know they can, as I have seen them flying. Granted they tend not to fly very high, or for a long time, but fly they can.

Approaching Hoe Rough on the busy Fakenham Road earlier, I saw a brightly-plumaged cock pheasant (Identical to the one above) on the other side of the road, at the junction with Mill Lane. It seemed to be considering going across to the small car park in front of the entrance to Hoe Rough. Then it casually stepped out into the road. After a few steps, it stopped, seeming to be pondering something.

If a bird can be said to look deep in thought, then this one certainly was.

Seconds later, a small Fiat car appeared from the direction of Dereham. Fortunately for the thoughtful bird, the lady driver slowed her car, and carefully steered around it. With the road momentarily clear, the pheasant seemed to snap out of its reverie, and began crossing the second half of the road. But rather than take the obvious route, it made a diagonal approach, leaving it in the path of a fast-moving delivery van heading east from Beetley.

I winced as the van drove straight over it without hesitation, expecting to see the remains of a badly-squashed bird in its wake. Luckily, the height of the comercial vehicle had meant the bird had been unscathed. It did not even appear to be that concerned by its close encounter with potential oblivion.

A few steps more took Mr Pheasant into the car park, and under the gate of the nature reserve. Ollie and I followed seconds later, watching the bird saunter off into some dense undergrowth ahead of us.

Not unlike the pheasant, I was left pondering.

Why didn’t it just fly across the road?

57 thoughts on “The Pondering Pheasant

  1. A very nice experience. I’m glad he survived. Years ago, things weren’t so good for one of them. Maybe this one wanted to philosophize with our ca. In any case, only a few feathers remained of him – I had found these relics much later in the shed. ;-(

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No doubt an adrenalin junky out for the trill, or did you check to see if the there was a pheasant camera crew knocking around?
    I used to go pheasant beating in my teens and they most definitely wait until the last second to take to the air, evacuating there bowels at the same time, not much good verse a truck 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Deep in thoughts, an Einstein of all birds, it was wondering why vehicles drive in one direction and not backwards or sideways like him. Or may be, it was testing the reaction time of the vehicle-kind! 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One lucky pheasant. My daughter, who used to share a house with bird enthusiasts, says many birds wait until the last moment to fly. It expends too much energy, so they walk when possible. Obviously doesn’t apply to birds of prey and seabirds that never land.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I came across 2 a few weeks ago squaring up to each other on my side of the road just as I cam round a sharp bend. Thankfully oncoming traffic was flashing before I went round the bend slower than usual and went round them . Not one care did they have about the traffic and my fiesta is definitely a lot lower than a van!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Around here we don’t worry about pheasants but we do about deer. There are so many, I often count 20 or more roaming in a local herd. And it seems that deer will stand waiting to run across the road when a car is close.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Chickens run away from cars, but deer and pheasants are killed in their hundreds every year around here. You would think ‘evolution’ would have taught them by now.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

    1. I just hope he wasn’t returning to Mill Lane later…Mind you, if he survives the road, he will likely be shot once the season starts in October!
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  7. It does seem odd, doesn’t it, because all creatures seem to have a concept of danger, such as the one presented by a ginormous juggernaut bearing down upon it at high speed! The pheasant you saw had a lucky escape, but I fear this won’t always be the case, unless it stays away from roads in future! 😀 Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see dozens of pheasants squashed on Norfolk’s roads, Jon. I think they are either very stupid birds, or they have no idea how dangerous a moving vehicle is.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

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