Now swiftly changing the subject...................
Have you seen these before?
The window cleaner can this week and asked Patrick if I wanted some feathers for my arty crafty work.
I think he said that they were 'Hedgecock' feathers - but as I rely on lipreading it is probably a totally different bird as I have never heard of a 'Hedgecock'.
Edited to day - thank you, thank you, thank you - for telling me its a Woodcock. And thank you Paula for the Google link. Now all I have to do is to work out how to paint with them!
What a beautiful little bird - I do so hope that it wasn't shot - but sadly I suspect that it might have been. It's surely too tiny to eat.
I expected feathers akin to pheasant or partridge (as it is the shooting season around here with guns going off most days in the fields around). Anyhow, I was greatly surprised when he opened his wallet (I know - and you're right - in these here parts it's rare you see a local open their wallet - and never to take anything out of it!) In fact this was a first for me! He went on to say that artists use them for painting with. They push them in a ???????? and then paint with the feather!
I think that they must be rather rare and he probably came across it on one of his shoots, but I would love to know more about it and the painting side of it. They are so tiny as you can see by the small matchstick I photographed them against. He definitely said 'paint' with them as opposed to using them as a quill in ink.