The Partridge Family
The Partridge Family and a pretty young black rabbit.
We’ve often have a few Partridge visitors, but lately, we were beginning to wonder if there was a pair. As ground nesters, they’d be tricky to spot. R had a thought they might be nesting in the road-hedge because of sightings as they came around the side of the house, from that direction. Then, one afternoon, there was a cry from R for me to get downstairs asap! Parent bird & chicks had made an appearance (from around the side of the house). The mother trailed them after her across the shingle drive, but would sometimes gather them all under her wings & sit down. I would have thought the shingle drive was awkward for the chicks to negotiate, but they managed. Later, other partridges arrived and a bit of a skirmish ensued with much chasing & wing flapping, all at tremendous speed. (Sadly, I did not have the camera ready.)
We both recalled a Forest Ranger’s advice not to count the number of ducklings or chicks in a brood, cos it only leads to distress as numbers decrease. (Although I can report that there were still seven chicks this lunchtime.)
R had been watching a rabbit when the Partridge Family made its appearance. Neither species took any notice of the other. The Partridges walked right around the rabbit, only inches away. While watching the mother with her wings covering her brood, R spotted a small black shape in the grass. Were the moorhens visiting? No, a small, very sleek & shiny pretty young rabbit emerged from the wilded grass. More than 20 years ago, a neighbour had a large black, buck pet rabbit. One day, he escaped his cage and was gone for two nights. He came home knackered. Ever since, we occasionally see a black rabbit. A dominant gene presumably.