I am officially fed up with pheasants.
I very nearly hit my second of the week tonight when he decided to step out in front of me, totally oblivious to the fact I was driving a ton of rusty metal and he was but a few pounds covered in puffed up look-at-me-girls feathers. He was very nearly a mangled, bloody and broken mess of gold, russet and green.
Admittedly, I had been momentarily distracted by the sight of my first spring lambs silhouetted in the twilight at the top of a hill. I braked - hard - closed my eyes and when I opened them he was gone. Off, no doubt, to seek a lady friend to impress with tales of his escape from the big blue monster with the blinding eyes.
The cock pheasant that stepped out in front of me in the Monday dawn wasn't so lucky. His body was tossed into the air, its trajectory momentarily interrupted by hitting my windscreen with a sickening thud. Instinctively, I closed my eyes again, convinced the glass was about to shatter. I cannot understand how hit-and-run drivers can claim they were not aware they had hit someone when crashing into a pheasant makes such a racket.
I hate running over pheasants but at this time of year, the lust-blinded boys pay little heed to cars. I think it's such a shame after they have survived the winter, the fox and the gun that they have such an ignoble end. If pheasants spent more time flying and less time strutting, I'm sure there would be far fewer fatalties.