Blue pheasant found in garden
When a Lincolnshire amateur ornithologist saw a flash of blue in his garden he couldn't believe his eyes.
Mike Lake, from Saxilby, managed to take a picture of the bright blue male pheasant as it strutted about in his back garden.
The blue pheasant
"It's clearly living wild but it's been visiting for a couple of weeks so it's obviously surviving," he said.
"I think it's roosting somewhere nearby.
Feel Good Tuesdays only £39 for two treatments ( at lincoln town...View details
choose 2 of the following treatments :
Geleration Hands or Feet,
minx nails ,
30m pedicure or manicure,
Spray Tan ,
Terms: Subject to availability. only at Lincoln town centre Medi Spa
Contact: 01522 305295
Valid until: Sunday, June 01 2014
"It's certainly strikingly beautiful. It brings a bit of vibrancy and colour to the environment."
For many in the birdwatching community there is still debate as to the cause or existence of wild blue pheasants with many dismissing reports of sightings as merely juvenile peacocks.
Even members of the local RSPB seemed unsure about the creatures.
Lincolnshire RSPB spokesman Steve Lovell said: "It's the first time I've come across them.
"But you never know what has been bred and released from game estates each year."
In recent years, sightings of iridescently feathered pheasants have been on the rise across the county, possibly due to selective breeding by gamekeepers.
A spokesman for the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, Morag Walker, said the birds were common.
"It's not really blue," she said.
"All pheasants have these iridescent feathers and this is just a mutation of an ordinary cock pheasant."
And it seems the birds unusual colour might help it in the long run with restaurateurs rejecting the idea of eating them.
Alan Ritson, owner of the Old Bakery restaurant in Lincoln which serves pheasant, said he didn't think the birds would taste any different once cooked.
"But it would be terrible to do that to them," he added.
For more on the wild blue pheasant, see Tuesday's Echo.