From the gloom of the early morning, on the country way to work, some brown blobs appeared.
Ignoring the usual nicities of the Highway Code, I screeched to a halt and counted 35 Red-Legged Partridges. Now this strikes me as unusual, and indeed foolish as even I could have hit some of them with a shotgun from that distance. Watch out, lads, the shooting season's still open (until 1st February).
The one on the far right looks nice and plump - tasty. But why so many together? Apparently they prefer well-drained soil and places with low rainfall, so perhaps with the recent deluges and flooding the Eastry gang have joined with the Northbourne boys and the Ripple massiv to form an East Kent Covey on high ground. Alternatively they may have been released for shooting, and so far managed to avoid the guns.
Did you know* that the Red-Legs (or 'Frenchmen') often make two nests and lay two clutches, with the male bringing up one and the female the other?
A fuzzy photo of one of the two Med. Gulls at Foreness today, and (below) a Common and a Black-Head waiting for scraps.
*nor did I - I must get out more. Thanks to Francesca Greenoak's All the Birds of the Air for that.