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Pheasant, Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire

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Old Monday 6th March 2006, 16:42   #1
mickporter
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Pheasant, Mere Sands Wood, Lancashire

For some while now at Mere Sands Wood there is a Male Pheasant which is almost totally green apart from a red wattle on its face.

Whereas normally they have a metallic green neck, and a golden brown plumage, this one is green all over.

Is this normal?? Some discussion took place today in the hide and a guy said he had seen several like it around Yorkshire. I have certainly never seen one like this anywhere else and my books do not mention it. Is this a freak of nature or something that does occur naturally?

Sorry for no pictures........
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Old Monday 6th March 2006, 16:53   #2
Steven Astley

 
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Just dragged out my heinzel fitter parslow which i remember is actually better for pheasants than collins.

It looks like it could be either a japanese pheasant or a 'melanstic' mutant ordinary pheasant or a hybrid of the 2.

Last edited by Steven Astley : Monday 6th March 2006 at 19:39.
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Old Monday 6th March 2006, 18:35   #3
aythya_hybrid
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I've seen quite a few of those dark green pheasants, which I believe are 'Japanese Pheasants,' although I don't know if that's a full species or just a 'form.'
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Old Monday 6th March 2006, 18:36   #4
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A couple of years ago there was a male Golden Pheasant at Mere Sands it used to frequent the area around the bird table near the Ainscough hide.
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Old Monday 6th March 2006, 19:06   #5
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Yes thats right sadly I believe it was shot. I suppose if this one is a Japanese Pheasant then it must be an escapee and may well suffer the same fate.... Unless someone claims it. It seems to spend its time chasing around the Water Rail as it comes to the feeding table. Maybe it has an identity crisis!!
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Old Tuesday 7th March 2006, 12:55   #6
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Huge numbers of pheasants are released each autumn for shooting and some survive through the winter. In recent years there seems to have been a trend towards releasing pheasants that have been selectively bred for unusual colour patterns (up here it has been very dark, almost black ones). I suspect your green pheasant is one of these variants.
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Old Tuesday 7th March 2006, 14:42   #7
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Yes, it sounds like a melanistic Pheasant, they are quite common in some areas. I've seen many myself in the Hereford area, the males are all dark. You can normally tell the males apart from male Japanese Pheasants (P. versicolor) by their dark rumps - Japanese Pheasants have a pale rump. The females are also much darker than 'normal' hen pheasants, being very dark chocolate brown.
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