zaterdag 9 oktober 2010

The pheasant is the icon of the cryptoforest

The above is the most typical view you are most likely to get from a pheasant: a slight faraway noise as it runs away or maybe flies away in that typical awkward style of theirs. Pheasants, I have never seen them anywhere in this city, is what first alerted me to the cryptoforests of Westraven, Utrecht. The past two years, autumns especially, I have often spotted 4/5/6 of them at a time but this year they have been rare. But as the Wikipedia notes: "they are always timid once they associate humans with danger, and will quickly retreat for safety after hearing the arrival of hunting parties in the area." I doubt they are hunted but they do seem more timid, and only occasionally you see one. They are however certainly there, because sometimes they wander onto the bicycle lane and when they see you, usually before you see them, they dash into the underbrush and disappear out of sight.   

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