Along the Ancient Highway as Deal, this afternoon, I noticed a Grey Partridge feeding with its head down constantly. The one problem is that in the afternoon the sun is in the wrong direction to get good light on birds feeding in the fields.
I watched for a while and then gave the familiar birder squeaking sound. With in seconds the head was up and it was looking around.
For a few seconds it stood and turned round and looked straight towards me. I must admit that its reaction was surprising for what I had always thought of as a shy bird.
Within seconds it was running straight towards me, rather like I've seen a fox do in similar situations.I got almost to the edge of the field and again looked around as if searching for the source of the noise.
It was then that I made the mistake of repeating the squeak. The bird got very excited, but rushed off to the left and disappeared in so much longer vegetation at the edge of the field. I did hope that it was going to reappear, perhaps on the other side of the road, but after a few minutes nothing had happened and I moved on.
The fields here are excellent for Grey Partridges and it wasn't far before I came across another bird. This time the bird took no notice of my squeaking noise at all.
Another stop and another bird and I tested out this ones reaction to a bit of squeaking. It certainly heard it and stood up tall to see what was going on.
The next thing it did was to fluff itself up and look a bit like a feathery balloon. It didn't stay like that for long, but flew over the car and on to the golf course, and unfortunately it didn't reappear. It was fun photographing these cautious birds at a closer range than normal, but I really cursed those shiny bits of grass that nearly always appeared in the wrong place!