Pheasants can fly.

They can, I saw one flying once. It flew over my head when I was riding my motorbike. It was a worrying, ‘oh shit’ moment.

So, why is it such a rare sight? I’m sitting here in Gloagburn Farm Shop having a coffee after the most glorious run over; via Loch Tay, Fortingall & the Sma’ Glen. There was no traffic, but the largest number of pheasants I have seen in my entire life. Is it mating season? If so, there was a distinct lack of females, are they called ‘hens’? The lads, however, entertained me on my journey.

Can they not be bothered flying? In and around Fortingall, in a half mile, I counted 18 of the birds. I stopped counting after that. Most made a run for it; expect them to change their mind at any point. Gordon says, “If you come across a sheep, aim for it’s arse. Generally they run the way they’re facing.” – unless of course there’s a lamb involved, then it’s pure luck & judgement! Pheasants? Nope. Not a chance.

Two of them demonstrated their ability to gracefully parachute from a fence to the fields. You couldn’t really call it ‘flying’. Maybe they climbed onto the fence?

One made an unsuccessful launch at a fence. Fail. Tried again. Batter. Stupid bird. The best one though, demonstrating their distinct lack of intelligence; the one that was sauntering across the road. Just as I got level with it, it started to run. Straight toward a cattle grid. I got a beautiful demonstration of the most fantastic face plant (beak plant?) as the bird’s legs disappeared into the grid and it’s chin hit the metal. Slightly dazed, definitely confused.

I laughed. The locals must have thought I was bonkers. I giggled for about a mile.

Little red bike, massive grin? Yep, it’s me. Give me a wave.

Today’s thought: do ride at a speed that you can safely stop in the distance you can see to be clear on your side of the road. There may be an indecisive pheasant waiting for you round a bend!

Alternatively, what can you see? A pheasant. What can’t you see? The sod in the hedge. What can you reasonably expect to happen? Yep, it’s going to do a suicide sprint across the road.

Ride safe, the pheasants appear to be having a ‘mad season’.

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