This blog is for family and friends, to share my feelings and photos with and for myself, to support my fading memory and improve my Japanese. I intend to do some writing in kanji, but am not getting very far without a Japanese computer. So for the moment I say "konnichi wa". Aisatsu dake - just saying hello.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Birding with a different turn of events

One day in December J and I set out towards the mountains south of the city with Mr. K, who had told us about a white pheasant hanging around some little known hiking trail. Although K had warned us that this bird wasn't very fond of intruders, we didn't know what to expect and thus were in for quite a surprise!

Our guide led us into the forest and we steadily made our way up a small path. At the top of the hill we admired the scenery for a few minutes, did a u turn and walked the same path down. There were bulbuls, white-eyes, tits and little woodpeckers, also quite a few thrushes, but nothing bigger then that. It was the middle of the day and I think our subject was taking a nap.
Back down we discussed our options. Since we had come this far we decided not to give up too soon and wandered back into the forest again. Then suddenly, on our 2nd way down, it was there. Right in front of us, on the path, blocking our way. Literally. He didn't want to let us pass.

It was a beautiful male Silver Pheasant, with a great tail of  white shiny feathers, pretty chevron markings on its back and a bright red wattle on the face. It also had big strong feet with sharp toes, one of which extended backwards from the heel and could be used as a devious weapon.
We started taking some photos. The bird was obviously not happy, but I guess we looked quite big to him, because he didn't come too close.  This changed however the moment we kneeled down to get a better angle.

  He hit me once, but not too hard. The second time he hit harder. The third time he nearly knocked me over. This magnificent bird drove the 3 of us out of his territory with force and fiercely attacked K, (sensing he was a male?) who ended up with several cuts and bleeding wounds.


What is this bird doing here in Fukuoka? Far from its home in Eastern China. Had anyone kept him as a pet and decided this beast was too vicious? That wouldn't surprise me. I don't think I will go back  in there.

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