Ever since we moved here, the winter months have seen an influx of pheasant in winter time. On our first Christmas morning we counted a ‘family’ of about 14. Dad, resplendent, in the lead followed by females or possibly females and young not yet sporting the glorious colours of adult males. The last few weeks have seen activity that eerily reminds me of a Jane Austen description of the courting niceties in the Pump rooms at Bath. frequently we see about a dozen or so birds – sometimes clusters of females, sometimes clusters of males and at times the sexes are more evently matched. The males parade showing off their glorious colours and patterns, their heads proudly held aloft as they strut. Occasionally they show interest in the females at times they seem ready to see off rival males and at other times they seem rather stupid – such as when they try to take the seeds intended for the small birds in the garden. Females seem much more timid, rushing off at the slightest movement making it hard for me to record their presence on camera. They seem less bothered with the squirrels and birds who at times think they will watch the fun. I wonder whether they really are getting ready to breed?