As a postscript, it’s worth mentioning the discovery of yet another brood of wild-born pheasants in the garden below the kitchen window this week. It’s hard to express how unprecedented and extraordinary this progress is. It takes a good year to see any sign of pheasants breeding successfully in Galloway, but this brood almost puts us into double figures.
However, the reality is that these chicks are very late and they were probably hatched off in the second week in August. They don’t stand much of a chance, particularly with the cold, north-easterly wind which has come down over the last few days. Young chicks like these live or die by the weather, and I could hear at least one of them peeping plaintively that evening as the rain came on and a dank September chill began to descend. They should have been up and away months ago, and their future looks bleak.