Just a short post to reassure myself I still can: robins

I have been very silent here for too long.  Good and interesting things happen to me, horrible things happen to others and shock me, I work hard but also have some fun, however, I don’t make time to put anything new here.  Not sure why not and my electronic social communicating has reduced to a trickle too.  Something is going on.

Well, time for a change and I have made one resolution: that posts are best when they’re contemporaneous, but feeling that must be contemporaneous is not true or helpful.  To celebrate that decision: this one is really about the last four or five days and mostly just about simple pleasures.

I’m pretty committed to feeding the birds in our little, walled in, back garden in South London and one huge pleasure now is seeing the young birds arrive.  About a week ago there were some very fluffy, dishevelled looking blue tits on the nearest feeder to the kitchen window who were clearly still not completely rid of all their fledgling, fluffy feathers but who were already adept at using the feeder.  By contrast the robins were really funny.  The two seemingly fully fledged young ones had no fluff at all, slightly shorter tails I think than they will have, and that lovely year one plumage robins have then.  They could fly well but their approach to feeding certainly wasn’t to do any hard work on the feeders.  They just sat on a stack of wood left from our fence being replaced and every minute or so they would flutter their wings violently, like an avian sit up comics doing a take off of a humming bird, and they would open they beaks to create great quadrilateral voids and they would cheep, loudly to parent robin ears I’m sure though hardly audible through double glazing and my ageing ears.  It worked as of course it must and must have done for thousands and thousands of generations of robins.  The parents went zipping back and forth between the feeders and the young uns and in my fantasy those young uns got visibly fatter by the minute and the parents visibly thinner.

Why the different models?  Why are the blue tits up and at the feeding business before having completely lost their baby down while the robins look perfectly sleek and fly busily but rely on the parents’ and their own conditioning to get the hard work done for them for a few more days?

Fascinating.  The last two days all the blue tits I’ve seen have been fluff free and I’m not catching the young robins hitting the genetic programming to get fed.  Finally I have even seen the first of the young robins on the feeder without parental assistance.  Things move on apace.  Oh, and in case you haven’t been reading these things, we in the UK have a new government … and some reasons to celebrate and to hope that we don’t have to be in thrall to the right wing tabloids and relentlessly capitalist political answers from all parties for ever.  Now how do we build on the landslide that still leaves us with a surreal tory/DUP collaboration?  Not by whingeing anyway: onward Christopher!

Much to celebrate. Now I really must work!

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