26
Sep
13

Untickable

Walking among the trees and the open fields we saw something quite out of place. Bob’s directions had been spot on. The last time I’d seen these I’d been in Namibia, Africa.

Above us swung a couple of Buzzards and Long tailed Tits could be heard to our right but it was what was ahead of us that caught our attention. Distantly in the fields were a flock of large game birds; not instantly recognisable. A couple more came out onto the path a little closer and their shape gave them away as Helmeted Guineafowl.

You may ask what a large flock of Guineafowl are doing in the depths of Norfolk. The species has been domesticated for millennia. They are often kept for their meat, their eggs and they make excellent guards as they are very noisy when disturbed. These individuals however, wandering around Norfolk, are wild. Believe me, getting close to them was not easy. Escaped or introduced, who knows, but they do appear to be part of a self-sustaining population.

Despite obviously not being on the British list it could be argued Helmeted Gunieafowl’s credentials may rival those of  Golden Pheasant.

Helmeted Gunieafowl

 

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