Injury, responsibilities and this remarkable heatwave has kept me away from me usual patch walks over the past few days. Thankfully there’s still goings-on in the garden to watch in the meantime, though even the birds seems to be going slowly in the heat.
One of the great pleasures of having a small patch, or indeed a small garden, is that you get to know the wildlife in it not just as that type of bird or this type of animal, but you get to know them as individuals. You get to know them as recognisable, as having their own distinct personalities and inevitably you end up naming them too. I think that’s nothing but a good thing, engaging with the wild on a personal level helps remind us that is not them and us, but its us together.
So it was that Stumpy and Tic Tac were in the garden the other day.
Stumpy turned up in the garden without any tail feathers. Have they been moulted and the little robin is very limited in movement until they grow back? Or was it, perhaps, the result of a close encounter with one of the many local cats? Either way, Stumpy was here for the day and was going to make the most of it. Sometimes skulking in the bushes, sometimes hopping around at the edges.
Then the focus shifted to sunbathing, looking for all the world like he’d made a failed high speed landing and crashed into the ground! He hadn’t of course, he was just making the most of the sun, stretching wings out to the max.
And not just one sunbathing session either, but multiple times through the day.
Also in the garden is Tic Tac the robin, so named for his seeming pleasure in continually making the robin alarm call, no matter where he is in the garden or what he is doing.
Tic Tac is a juvenile, one of the 2018 edition robins, and seems to have well and truly settled in to my garden as his current home. He’s all bravado with his constant calls, like he’s trying to claim the garden as a territory even though he’s still too young. Come the autumn and the moult, however, he may be taken a lot more seriously and might even win out as the new resident robin.
Meanwhile, Tic Tac doesn’t seem to have received the memo that robins are ground feeding birds! Regular visits are being made to the hanging feeders, particularly the coconut.
Stumpy, it seems, was only here for the day. Not seen stumpy since, though I’ve been looking. Tic Tac I don’t even need to look for, just keep an ear out and I know he’s still around. One passing through, one resident, both memorable in their own ways.
There’s a lot to be said for enjoying the wildlife around you on the personal level. What names do you give to your individual local favourites?