Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dancing Pheasant

Chinese Golden Pheasant, Tresco Isle
I have simply not been able to post regularly these past few weeks, for although we have internet access on board the National Geographic Explorer, it is both spotty and expensive.  I have another week to go, and will try to keep up, but it may have to wait until I get home.

Wildlife has been elusive this trip – a few whales and dolphins at sea, and some seabirds on offshore rocks.  But on the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast, I had an encounter with a surprising bird – a Chinese Golden Pheasant. Not native to the UK, this gaudy bird roams free on these islands, presumably to brighten up the landscape. (or maybe for hunting…)

Either way, I spent about an hour trying to get a shot of  the pheasant, with its almost impossible array of colors – and eventually got this one, a moment of bizarre behavior that shows off the birds extravagant plumage. What’s he doing? No idea – maybe reaching up to have a scratch. But it was the best shot of the day.

On to Scotland tomorrow.

Nikon D3, 70-200mm lens

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