16 OCTOBER 1953, Page 13

Country Life

A COCK pheasant moved out of the weeds beneath the hedge, rising over the rough furrow and picking his way carefully across the withered potato haulms, but watching, listening every instant. His head came up and he posed on the top of a furrow, liko a statue in the warm October sunlight, his white band showing and the red on his head looking more red than ever. Evidently the danger was not close at hand, for he began to feed, doing so leisurely and with the attention a barnyard fowl gives to picking over a .new piece of ground. I had missed the hens, for suddenly I discovered one within a few yards and another farther out in the field. They were much more unobtrusive and more intent on feeding. The cock bird stalked on, his tail brushing the small weeds and leaves, until he was as far out as the more venturesome hen and then that far-away alarm, as impossible for the human ear to detect as a " silent " dog whistle, made the cbck pause. The danger was nearer and the brown hens heard it too. As silently as they had appeared on the field they went from it again. The weeds at the hedge swayed, a jay complained in the wood and a pair of crows flew over, but whatever had frightened the pheasants continued to keep out of sight.