Nature Notes: Feathered friend

Nature Notes: Feathered friend

Nature Notes: Feathered friend

First published in Nature Notes Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by

My garden 'ragged robin' with the bald head and summer long scruffy appearance is now resplendent in pristine winter plumage.

I've never known such an incredibly tame bird. Every time I go into the garden he flies to me and is my constant companion, staying close wherever I go, perching within a few inches as I weed, dig or prune. He seems to enjoy being photographed too, quietly warbling away as he poses, waiting for me to unearth some tasty morsel.

He spends most of the day when I'm not outside perching in a forsythia bush from where he surveys the scene within his territory which he rigorously defends. Because, however friendly he may be to me, his trusting nature does not extend to his avian neighbours. Indeed, he acts in a most aggressive manner, chasing any small bird that dares to approach the feeders although he has great difficulty accessing them himself, making several attempts to gain a foothold and pluck out a nut.

He is especially spiteful towards a gentle dunnock that has the temerity to hop about under the feeders and many scuffles break out. The robin's previous ragged appearance was doubtless due to his bullying nature and his opponents occasionally scoring in a crafty counter attack.

With Christmas approaching he will hopefully be too busy to bother about territory sharing. Goodwill towards birds and all that!

But anyway, he remains my my close feathered friend.

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