On August 30th I was taking some photos at Yasugawa near my home when two pheasants flew out from the bushes on my side of the river, just below where I was standing. My camera and long lens were aimed and focused far down the river, so the pheasants crossed the river before I could react.
I’ve had similar experiences quite a few times. It’s very rare to see two together, and usually they quickly disappear into thick vegetation across the river. I often hear pheasants along the river, especially in Spring, and sometimes they suddenly fly out from nearby as I walk through patches of weeds. Every time I’m startled and delighted to know they are alive and well. For years I had hoped that one day I’d be able to photograph one.
This time, to my great astonishment, they briefly stood in the sand on the opposite bank. I had just enough time to focus my manual lens and take one photo before they disappeared in high grass. Neither of these two showed the colorful plumage we can see on male pheasants, but I’m grateful that I had a chance to see them.