Robin Feed Guarantee & A Cute Little Chiffchaff

Just when you think you’ve got it sorted, buttoned down all the hatches and preempted every foreseeable weather event (as in: Lopped off the trees in the back garden which were getting too tall and knocking against the neighbour’s fence; cut back the rambling rose which had grown top-heavy and fallen down before; replaced the fencing in the back so preventing any further panels from blowing over as it did so last year and finally, secured any and all trellises for my other climbing rose and my honeysuckle so as to prevent repeat disasters of said rose and honeysuckle being blown down in the wind) and wouldn’t you know it, courtesy of gusts of winds up to 50 mph this week, we had a nice little surprise when the roofing felt on top of the summerhouse ripped and was blown clean off.

Yes, as in my summerhouse.

It could have been worse, I know, but we’ve also endured bitterly cold temperatures here in Blightly this week which have barely risen to a high of about 32 degrees farenheit (that’s a big fat zero in centigrade).   The type of cold that bites into your bones and makes you want to stay indoors and do nothing but sit by a warm fire, drink copious amounts of tea all day long and eat just as many toasted crumpets, oozing with melted butter.

To hell with the diet.

Lovely husband came home early and replaced the roofing felt before the rain comes in, which I believe is forecast.  As I said, we need to be on guard at all times.  This is coming from a person who lives my life always waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’ (oh ye of little faith) because it seems to do so fairly often, and then with a resounding clunk. I know there are no guarantees in this life and we were never promised a rose garden – pardon the pun.

Still, best to roll with the punches I say.

It’s not been an easy week.  Think that darn ‘black dog’, he of the shadows,  has been creeping up on to the bed again in the dead of night and lying down next to me because in the morning I have this huge weight I have to shift before I can even contemplate getting up to face the day.  He sits quietly in the corner by day where I tell him to sit and stay and I try not to look at him but I hear the sound of his breathing all around me.

Today though, it’s Friday, (it seems to come around much quicker in blogging land) and oh happy day, oh what a joy, oh what a spring I have in my step!  There I was all ready to call this post: “No Sign of Sweet Robin but I did see a Chiffchaff!” (“A what?” I hear you say – be patient, all will be explained shortly) when, who should I see, this very morn, right by the feeders?  Yes, my Sweet Robin!  He hopped about a bit from branch to branch but he wasn’t going to let me get quite so close this time.  He was acting a bit shy and he made it clear that he wasn’t in the mood for posing for photos.

I don’t blame him, he had other things on his mind.

Not least of all, Eddie, my naughty black cat, who was on the loose in the back garden, albeit lazily sunning himself by the back door (yes, the sun has appeared briefly this morning!) and not looking particularly threatening for the time being but enough to cause my Sweet Robin a bit of bother.

He was also busily chirping away to get someone’s attention and that someone turned out to be Mrs Sweet Robin.  Oh how lovely to see her return also!  They didn’t stay long, enough to have a few morsels of special robin food (the bag said so, got it from Wilkinsons, had a picture on the front of a robin so I took that to mean: ‘Guaranteed to attract Sweet Robin’).  Well, it worked!

Despite going all coy on me, however, (and I don’t take no for an answer that easily), I did manage to snap these of my Sweet Robin:

Sweet Robin At The Top of the Acer Tree(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Sweet Robin At The Top of the Acer Tree
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Sweet Robin(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Sweet Robin
(c) copyright Sherri Matthews 2013

Now what about this Chiffchaff?  Have you ever seen one of these lovely little birds?  I certainly hadn’t, at least not to my knowledge, until now.  I first  noticed a pair of them  flitting about all over my honeysuckle and in and out of my albeit very bare jasmine a week or so ago and thought that perhaps they might be nuthatches.

When I saw one of them again a few days later on my sage plant right outside my kitchen door I got a much better look at him.  Sort of robin like, but not with the red breast, about the size of a blue tit but brownish-green and with a dark stripe through its eye.  Where is that Observer Book of Birds when you want it?  Wish I knew what happened to that delightful  little  book.

Chiffchaff sitting on a birch tree Photo Credit: Image by א (Aleph),

Thanks to the wonderful interwebs  and lo and behold, I found the perfect description so that I could put a name to this cheeky little bird. I found out that it is a leaf warbler and is one of the first migrant birds to visit the UK in the spring, but usually not sighted until the summer. My brief ‘chiffchaff’ research also revealed that they like to eat insects (as well as caterpillars and moths) which would explain why he was pecking away  at the leaves and branches of the honeysuckle and the jasmine.  I guess he must have found something tasty on the sage too! He was far too nervous for me to even think about getting a photo so I borrowed the one above instead.

Think I’ve said it before, I’m no bird expert but I do love seeing all this wonderful wildlife in my back garden.  It is a blessing I never take for granted – a gift from God to lighten the day.

Have a wonderful wildlife weekend and rejoice in today.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri is a writer with work published in print magazines, anthologies and online. As a young British mum of three, she emigrated to California and stayed for twenty years. Today she lives in England's West Country, a full-time carer within her family. Her current WIP after completing her memoir is a psychological thriller.
This entry was posted in Birds of a Feather, Garden Snippets, Photos, Sweet Robin and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Robin Feed Guarantee & A Cute Little Chiffchaff

  1. Claire G says:

    What a lovely robin. We have two that divide up the territory around my house. One takes the back garden and one takes the front garden.


  2. Pingback: Birds of a Feather & All That | A View From My Summerhouse

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