My magnificent, wild friend whom I referred to as ‘Archie’. What a joy and a privilege it was to get so close to him … (no ultra-zooming or fancy camera equipment on this shot!)
Although wild, ‘Archie’ was attracted to Piep, the pheasant chick I had rescued and was rearing ‘out in the wilds’ in rural Oxfordshire, England. Archie would just appear out of nowhere and start trying to ‘foster-father’ Piep – one day I even awoke at 5 a.m. in my bivvy sack to find him literally a foot away and staring straight at my face!
Despite a series of visits over a number of weeks and his cautiously-growing confidence around me, it took me ages to capture this shot, because if I got out my camera, he immediately took offence and ‘disappeared’ (pheasants being the absolute masters of instant appearance and disappearance!). I’m not sure if he found it undignified, or whether, as a mature bird who had obviously survived at least a couple of ‘seasons’, he thought I was going to ‘shoot’ him with it…
‘Archie – a very Pleasant Pheasant’ was featured on ‘The Birds’