Rare pheasant brings oriental splendour to Wales

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The Independent Online

Have you seen this bird? Most likely the answer is emphatically "no". But if you have, and you live outside Bedfordshire, the British Ornithologists' Union wants to hear from you.

The bird known as Lady Amherst's pheasant is native to parts of China, Tibet and north Myanmar and likes rocky slopes at high altitudes. But this photo was taken in Wales, where a wild male has taken up residence in Pete Bryan's front garden in the foothills of the Black Mountains.

"He arrived in a snow flurry in January, and visits our bird table two or three times a day," Mr Bryan said. "He is approachable and has taken a strong liking to peanuts." Lady Amherst's pheasants were introduced to Britain by the Victorians, but few remain in the wild: "Only a handful at most remain in Britain and they were thought to live only in Bedfordshire – a long way from Wales," said Stephen Harris, professor of environmental sciences at Bristol University.

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