No, I’d never heard of one before either. Until the last few days, when this handsome visitor wandered across the garden. I had to look up what it was. Apparently, his official title is ‘phasanius colchicus var. tenebrosus’. Anyway, they are becoming more common in the UK, especially in Norfolk and the far North. But this one strolled across the lawn, and then obligingly took up a perch in next door’s garden on top of a pergola. I could see him from my loft studio window.
I’m giving a demonstration in painting watercolour birds tomorrow for a local art group. So I decided the melanistic pheasant would be a great subject with his spectacular, glossy feathers. Good timing.