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Corncrake or Pheasant?

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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 10:51   #26
andyadcock
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I've heard of several people with large rural garden have Pheasants breed in them in England & sounds far more likely than any exotic quail species. I wouldn't necessarily expect the male to be in attendance either.
Someone we know in Russia, has just had a Pheasant lay eggs in her Greenhouse.
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 11:33   #27
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We have pheasants nesting in our garden.
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 11:48   #28
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No Corncrakes anybody?
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 14:01   #29
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No Corncrakes anybody?
I was about to say ‘yes I had a bowl for breakfast’, then realised you really were asking about Corncrakes in a garden and it wasn’t a typo
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 16:57   #30
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I was about to say ‘yes I had a bowl for breakfast’, then realised you really were asking about Corncrakes in a garden and it wasn’t a typo
Ha, funnily enough the first Corncrake I ever heard was at breakfast time at a B and B on Skye, I remember saying to the man of the house “You’re so lucky having Corncrakes around the garden”. His grumpy reply “ You’d not think yourself lucky if they woke YOU up at 4am every morning” had me thinking “What a nasty thing to say”, but he redeemed himself by quietly whispering ( so my wife couldn’t hear I think) “ Would you like a drop of the Macallan in your porridge?
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 19:38   #31
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“ Would you like a drop of the Macallan in your porridge?
No wonder you're halfway up and Alp...!
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 20:31   #32
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Originally Posted by Richard Prior View Post
Ha, funnily enough the first Corncrake I ever heard was at breakfast time at a B and B on Skye, I remember saying to the man of the house “You’re so lucky having Corncrakes around the garden”. His grumpy reply “ You’d not think yourself lucky if they woke YOU up at 4am every morning” had me thinking “What a nasty thing to say”, but he redeemed himself by quietly whispering ( so my wife couldn’t hear I think) “ Would you like a drop of the Macallan in your porridge?
Oddly the first Corncrakd I ever saw was also in a garden, of a,house right beside the hostel on Tory Island, Donegal. I could heat it calling even before I got off the ferry at the pier!
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 21:22   #33
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... hostel on Tory Island, Donegal. I could heat it ....
So you really ate Corncrake for breakfast? Wow
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Old Thursday 25th June 2020, 21:48   #34
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So you really ate Corncrake for breakfast? Wow
. Trying to touch-type on a tablet...I've posted the sorry saga of my first Corncrake sighting on Ruffled Feathers, under 'Stupid things you've done while birding'. It cost me two trips to Donegal (one by plane), and a very ruffled ego....
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Old Friday 26th June 2020, 10:45   #35
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'Duck eggs'?

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Originally Posted by harr1y View Post
If you had heard a Corncrake you wouldve known ... Its unmistakeable ...and as for the "blue" egg in the nest i have found duck eggs dumped in pheasant nests which explains the water nearby theory ... my mortgage is on Pheasant
------------------------

The call I heard was like the recordings of corncrake online.

There is no chance of the blue egg being a duck egg because it wasn't duck egg size but the same size as the other eight. Also the water is 300 yards away and separated by fields and hedges/trees. There is no water pool in my garden that is of interest to duck.

Finally, there have not been any pheasants seen in neighbouring fields and certainly not in my garden. All the characteristics of this bird that were observable describe a corncrake.
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Old Friday 26th June 2020, 10:53   #36
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I can't believe that these birds have been in your garden for 3 weeks (or more?) and you cannot present us with any photographic evidence!

Sorry - but there's nothing here to suggest Corncrake to me.
-------
This hen was nocturnal and during daylight it sat on eggs/with chicks. It was in very long grass and although I did try to photograph it, the result was not worth uploading. Also I did not want to disturb the hen whilst it was sitting.

My main preoccupations was to photograph the chicks if possible but unfortunatley the crow disturbed things too much and as soon as the chicks were htached the hen moved them elsewhere - outside of my property.
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Old Friday 26th June 2020, 10:54   #37
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What size were the eggs? What were they like (presume the blue one was the same size - or was it different?)

I also noted you said the female was pestered by a crow in your garden. Were you able to get a rough size comparison?

(Mallard and other ducks can and often nest fairly far from water btw)
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Old Friday 26th June 2020, 11:14   #38
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Originally Posted by oakwoodbank View Post
------------------------

The call I heard was like the recordings of corncrake online.

There is no chance of the blue egg being a duck egg because it wasn't duck egg size but the same size as the other eight. Also the water is 300 yards away and separated by fields and hedges/trees. There is no water pool in my garden that is of interest to duck.

Finally, there have not been any pheasants seen in neighbouring fields and certainly not in my garden. All the characteristics of this bird that were observable describe a corncrake.
Have you got any farms near you? Some chickens lay blue eggs
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Old Friday 26th June 2020, 11:55   #39
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Thank you all (espacially aeshna5) for mentioning the (regular?) nesting of Pheasants, at least in Britain (and Russia?). That was new to me, but I must admit that I dont massve experience with this topic.

In Germany, Pheasants are generally believed to rely on released birds to sustain a stable population over a longer period (even in "good" habitats with a mild, snowfree winter climate).
Some of those released birds show an unusual behaviour. I have heard of several occassions, when Pheasants laid their eggs somewhere at more or less unsuitable places (at least once in a small garden), maybe beggining to sit on them. I have allways linked this behaviour to such birds (is this right?)
I want to seperate this behaviour from "real" breeding, when like in this case, two breeds were reared.

One reason, why I wrote a comment was to provide a not yet mentionend alternative, that had come to my mind:

at least in Germany, Quails (of different species) are regular kept, even "free for a time" in gardens. I know from those, that they utter calls that I would not attribute to a "wild" Quail.

But I also know, that ducks sometimes lay their eggs in other nests.So this might explain the different coloured egg. But I know that those "domesic" Quails sometimes lay different coloured eggs (more often than "wild" species?)

When this is the right answer, someone in your near neighborhood must keep Quails. So this theory is easy to be checked.
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Old Saturday 27th June 2020, 01:15   #40
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A question that I don't see asked anywhere yet. What colour were the eggs? Because the eggs of Pheasant and Corncrake do not look the same.

Also, are there other species in the area that could cause confusion? Maybe Red-legged Partridge or escaped Guineafowl.

Without more information I don't think it's possible to identify which species is involved here.
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Old Saturday 27th June 2020, 13:04   #41
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Originally Posted by Alexander Stöhr View Post
Thank you all (espacially aeshna5) for mentioning the (regular?) nesting of Pheasants, at least in Britain (and Russia?). That was new to me, but I must admit that I dont massve experience with this topic.

In Germany, Pheasants are generally believed to rely on released birds to sustain a stable population over a longer period (even in "good" habitats with a mild, snowfree winter climate).
Not climate-related, as the species experiences far colder and snowier conditions in parts of its native range. The reason why released Pheasants don't breed well is that they've never had a natural parental upbringing - so they don't even know what to do with those round things that come out of their back ends, let alone know how to care for the chicks and protect them from predators
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Old Saturday 27th June 2020, 13:09   #42
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A question that I don't see asked anywhere yet. What colour were the eggs? Because the eggs of Pheasant and Corncrake do not look the same.

Also, are there other species in the area that could cause confusion? Maybe Red-legged Partridge or escaped Guineafowl.

Without more information I don't think it's possible to identify which species is involved here.
See post #37
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Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 09:21   #43
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See post #37
Thanks. I must have missed that one when I read though before.
Still not answered though... we know that one egg was unusual for being blue, but not what the other eggs were like.
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Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 10:00   #44
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Not climate-related, as the species experiences far colder and snowier conditions in parts of its native range. The reason why released Pheasants don't breed well is that they've never had a natural parental upbringing - so they don't even know what to do with those round things that come out of their back ends, let alone know how to care for the chicks and protect them from predators
Thanks Nutcracker! I thought I have read and heard several times before, that the reason for the need to release Pheasants to maintain a stable population in Germany was cold winters with snow. Otherwise Phesants would become extinct, thats what I heard before, so thank you for this information!
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Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 10:46   #45
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Most pheasants think they're human, as that's they first thing they see when they come out of the incubator. I used to do field archery in a wood where they released pheasants and they would run around your feet like chickens.
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Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 11:08   #46
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Most pheasants think they're human, as that's they first thing they see when they come out of the incubator. I used to do field archery in a wood where they released pheasants and they would run around your feet like chickens.
On that reasoning, a lot of them must be hatched in car parks, given their propensity to leap into the arms of a moving vehicle.
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Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 11:23   #47
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Thanks Nutcracker! I thought I have read and heard several times before, that the reason for the need to release Pheasants to maintain a stable population in Germany was cold winters with snow. Otherwise Phesants would become extinct, thats what I heard before, so thank you for this information!
Wouldn't have thought German winters would be a problem from a cold perspective as I saw them as native birds in eastern Kazakhstan where the winters will be much colder & snow covered than Germany.
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Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 11:30   #48
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Wouldn't have thought German winters would be a problem from a cold perspective as I saw them as native birds in eastern Kazakhstan where the winters will be much colder & snow covered than Germany.
Ditto, I've seen them in China where winters are pretty cold too.
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Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 21:20   #49
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On that reasoning, a lot of them must be hatched in car parks, given their propensity to leap into the arms of a moving vehicle.
Yep - they see the keeper arriving in a car with sackfuls of food, so they associate cars with feeding time


I read of one shooting estate where the keeper had to walk along in front of the guns, pick the pheasants up, and toss them in the air, because they were so tame
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Old Sunday 28th June 2020, 22:04   #50
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I'm pretty sure that in the wider countryside there are plenty of pheasants of a few generations down the line that haven't seen a release pen at all. Be interesting to know if they can be self-sustaining at any level. Can do a bit of havoc on other wildlife I believe.
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