Today my photo was not taken in our garden and is not even of a plant. It is not even a very good picture. The story is quite good though.
Today was destined to be a busy day. As these things pan out sometimes, I had a lots of things to condense into the first couple of hours and had a strict mental itinerary that if stuck to ensured success. However, after a promising start, something occurred that could have easily gummed up the works.
I have been looking after Betsey Bee’s chickens for the last couple of days and first thing dutifully went to the large enclosure to sing “Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken” to my new friends (they love it, honest!). As I approached, a rather beautiful “chicken” flew out and into a nearby tree, fixing me with an icy stare. Now I am no expert, but the impressive hooked yellow beak, enormous talons and large wingspan suggested to me this was no ordinary chicken, in fact dargonit, this may well be a large bird of prey. Apart from my initial horror that it had been “playing” with the chickens when I was supposed to be looking after them, it was a beautiful sight. It was incredibly tame and I managed to get very close in order to do an identi-kit. There was no match in my European bird book. There was a very good reason for this, it is, as correctly identified by the Medlar Fairy, a Harris Hawk which is native to south-western USA, Chile and Argentina. It must have escaped from captivity and hopefully a helpful falconer was coming this evening to recapture it, feed it and find its home.
To reinforce this happy ending, apart from this small diversion, the itinerary worked a treat.