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Now it's really getting Christmassy. I've just looked out of my window and seen a covey of partridges feeding on a sunlit, frost covered stubble field, like a living Christmas card.
Yes, I know that come Boxing Day the local gentry will be blasting them from the sky for "fun" but for now I'll just enjoy the "feel good"
Nothing like the thunderous boom of a purdey on Boxing Day.
Like Grocc, here on the fringe of NW London, we get our share of pigeons, but also we have Robins, Blue-tits, Blackbirds, Magpies and Jays feeding in our garden today. The squirrels are regular visitors too.
Loads of pheasants here on the IOW, in the front garden, in the field behind our house, everywhere. They drive my little Westie crazy.
Don't get me wrong, Brigadier. Very partial to a bit of Partridge or Pheasant myself, and a nice pigeon for supper is a treat indeed. (I mean a nice fresh Woodpigeon, not their London cousins!)
It's just that I see killing for food and killing for pleasure as two entirely different things!
I don't want to get up your nose but think on this.
Those partridges would not be alive if the "Local Gentry/Farming Community" did not make money out of "City Slickers" who want to spend a day chucking lead into the sky.
A considerable proportion of the "real" countryside that is so appreciated by the Tree Huggers is only there because of those City Slickers who can afford to keep it that way. Otherwise the Countryside would be like the Fens or central East Anglia. Vast fields with no hedges, woods or wildlife. Farmers have got to make sufficient money to live.
p.s. I gave up shooting in 1968 as I don't wish to kill such beautiful birds and beasts.
I live in East Anglia and I am forever dodging Pheasant, Partridge, Grouse, you name it I've dodged it. I like all sorts of wildlife, I even feed the birds that come into my garden. On the other hand I do like to eat the above mentioned birds once in a while and I know farmers have to make a living. The countryside in my estimation is not well managed and hasn't been for a good long while, at least around where I live. If you ask me, it is a crying shame. Where I come from in the States (Wisconsin) there are small farms and they happily co-exist with countryside. I only wish it could be more like that here. J.B.
I have a consultancy contract running in Hitchin. I go there via the A1M, and cut across country to Hitchin via the Codicote road, a delightful drive along a road that winds for about ten miles through farm-land and woods.
Early in the morning - around 7:30 - when there's a hard frost and a clear sky it's a beautiful journey, and at the moment the verges are full of cock pheasants strutting their stuff. It's the silly season for them, the time when they sit around doing nothing much, or suddenly walk straight out in front of the car. They really are the most beautiful sight in their technicolour plumage.
We take City Gents & Brokers out on a days shooting, 99% of then cant hit a barn door at 5 paces. But they get to take a few birds home, provide some of the locals with work, stay at the local pub for 2 nights & above all come back year after year.
At the end of the day i would prefer to be shooting at clays, but we need to make the estate pay!
F,E keep an eye open for the deer
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