Well yesterday the temperature rose but not enough to melt all the snow, thankfully. Last night, just as it dropped down again and twilight was settling over the valley, I happened to look out the kitchen window and saw what I thought was a small flock of quail fly into the snow-covered back field.
They were pretty far off and I couldn’t see them well so I grabbed my camera and zoomed up, hoping I could make out whether they were wild or not.
I had panicked a bit at first because we raise quail so my initial instinct was to run out to make sure that it wasn’t any of ours that had somehow escaped from their outdoor pen.
The thought of going out in the freezing cold wind didn’t appeal to me, though, so I wanted to be sure that’s what I was seeing.
I couldn’t see them very well even zoomed all the way in but they sure looked a lot like ours, so my mind raced, wondering how they might have gotten out! Did I forget to close the little gate? Did the wire somehow get compromised? Did they fly out of the netting at the top?
The thought of my sweet little quail out there in the wild was a bit much to bear…
They really are adorable little birds…
As I explained what was going on to the hubs, I wondered how we would catch them and put them back where they could be safe and sound and out of reach of the circling hawks I’d seen just a few minutes earlier…
…and the pups who are always eager to catch a stray from the poultry pens!
By the time he headed out to check on our quail they moved closer in and I was able to get a better look and realized that these were gray partridges!
No wonder the hawks were circling!
They are a bit bigger and look slightly different than our quail but both are equally beautiful.
There were about eight or ten of them together, running across the field, and then flying off into the trees when they spotted my husband out there trying to do a head count on our quail. 😄
He didn’t get to see them because he was too busy trying to figure out if they were ours, but I was able to get some pretty good shots of them to share with him.
Hopefully the little partridge family will return again soon…