Last year, I was visited by a robin and wrote the below, meaning to post it once I had a picture of him. I kept trying and trying, but failed.
Last week, a little juvenile robin flew into my office. He (putatively) has been visiting me for a few weeks now, getting slowly braver, and braver. He used to perch just outside my office window ledge peering in at this strange, large black clad creature. I would freeze to watch him, making only the tiniest of moves so as not startle him.
One day, Master Robin flew into my office, around my room and landed on my Green Legislation Book, which is no more than an arm’s reach away (always have to have quick access to legislation). I did not turn my head to look at him, but merely darted my eyes across. He tipped his head to the side to look at me. Then he tipped his head back the other way. He has such startlingly black eyes. He looked unimpressed with my set-up and flew back outside again.
I adore robins, with their jaunty red breast. I know my visiter is juvenile because his coat is speckled and his red breast is still only orange, and a bit browny speckled too. I love robins in winter – they are a flash of red when everything else is dull. (The Nanny of the wintry bird world?) They also seem sociable – although really they are aggressively territorial – because they dart in front of you as you near their home.
When we first moved here, robins would land on the path in front of me as I walked to work, marking the closest point at which I am allowed to approach their nest. They would flit away again as I approached twittering a high pitched warning. Little did they know that I just find it more delightful that they chatter at me. I’d follow them, if I could, but I am neither small enough, nor fast enough. And I’m usually running late for work.
In the tree outside my office – which has regained branches and leaves since its decapitation in early spring – are many tits (mostly blue, but the occassional long-tailed and bearded also visit). They are shyer birds and fly away at the tiniest of moves from me. I’ve seen the occasional green finch and once, a bullfinch. There are also pigeons, which are less interesting, and magpies, which are frightening. Mr Squirrel has not returned, however. He has probably set up a permanent home elsewhere.
Yesterday, Master Robin returned. I am quite sure he is one and the same. He hopped through my open window in the same manner and flew ’round once proprietorially before flying out again. He landed right where I used to put out bird seeds for him and the tits, which I removed because it had started to attract magpies and pigeons. From the window ledged he chirruped at me and I imagined him saying, “Oy! Where’s my feed? What good are you?” I feel elated and berated at the same time. I will bring in bird seed again.
He is all grown up now. No longer is his breast orange and his coat speckly brown. Indeed, he has a proud red chest and his speckles have all disappeared. I hope that I will see him bring home a mate and set up a nest and welcome young robins into the world. I doubt I will catch photos of any of this, should it happen.
For your delectation, here is my favourite Robin photo from 2009. Oh, it makes my jaw hurt from grinning.
I am, however, a little worried. Robins are harbingers of autumn. Please, it is not autumn already. It is still summer. I love autumn and winter, but I’m not ready. Oh, please.