My curious eye spots a beady eye looking back at me. The owner of the beady eye strolls casually over to my row of infant beetroot and with an insouciant backward glance begins to peck away. Hmm, if we're going to eat any of our own vegetables this season Steps Must Be Taken....
A week later we're in business. Barry has been kind enough to lend us his Pheasant Catching Device - a sort of cage which incorporates cunning little tunnels into which a dim-witted bird strolls in order to scoff the corn scattered liberally within. But ha! Having entered, the bird brain can't work out how to retrace its steps. It has to sit it out and passes the time by alternately pecking at anything edible, and by flapping hysterically against the cage's wire frame. In due course I will come along with the sack which is to be its passport to freedom.
I grasp the bird by the shoulders -well, where I imagine a bird's shoulders might be anyway - at the top of its wings. We look each other in the eye before I stuff it into my sack. (Gently I assure you.) Being in the bottom of a dark sack seems to have a calming effect on the bird and safely packaged like this we can take it over the hills and far away to be released.
A quick shake of the sack over a gate into Wayne's new field and Pheasant No.8 is free to join the 7 others I've relocated in the past few days.
Meanwhile, as I'm going through the CD collection to see which I can recycle as bird scarers (a splendid use for 'Sounds of the Seventies' I think) pheasants Nos.9 and 10 can be seen approaching......
Edited to add:
Later that same day.....This is pheasant No.11 - a nasty piece of work I think - there's a murderous glint in that eye and a trace of gore on the beak. He vented his fury at being incarcerated by scrapping with his fellow inmates, two other cock birds. He avoided the journey in the sack by scratching my 'brave' assistant who hurriedly dropped him. I imagine he, not the assistant, is now in the undergrowth somewhere....sniggering at me and planning a raid on the pea shoots.