The Robin

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There's been a robin in our garden ever since we moved here nearly 7 years ago.  I've always thought it's the same one, though doubtless if this is unlikely someone will correct me (how old does a robin get before it is too old and must make way for a younger bird?).

He greets me when I go outside the back door, more often and more enthusiastically when I venture past the patio.  On these occasions I am usually going to the compost bin or the shed at the bottom of the garden, only a few steps further along.  He is very attentive, interested in what I am doing, scolding if I can't give him time or conversation.  Recently I've watched him scratching in the newly-mulched border, dragging out tasty treats and gobbling them up with a greedy eye for more.

It is quite clear that my garden is also his garden; there are no other such territorial birds allowed within the bounds.  In fact late last spring I watched him shooing away several competitors, an exhausting effort for such a small creature.  He did it though, and sat proudly chirping away in the conifer and then on the fences either side, showing off his prowess at 'keeping others out'.  It seems I have a "guard bird", kind-of.

There's a robin on my plot at the allotment too.  Now, if the one at home is fussy about his patch, my allotment friend is so much more so.  He has even been known to shoo away much larger creatures - birds, yes - and a fellow plot-holder, once (they had to stand on the path and talk to me from there or get dive-bombed, repeatedly).  Though he didn't seem so bothered by a lone blue-tit who was even allowed to sit in the same tree.

So I am coming to learn the sounds of the robin as he goes about his work.  I missed them a bit over the past cold winter and wondered if they'd still be there once it warmed up a bit.  But they are back there again, in my garden and on my plot and I love these two places all the more for it.

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