Monday, 2 May 2016

little creatures

There are robins nesting in the pot shed.  I found the nest by accident last week, when I flung open the doors meaning to put the accumulated jumble of pots outside the shed back on the shelves, and a small bird flew to the other end and stared at me resentfully.  It was a robin.  It would be.  It is impossible to move outdoors here at this time of year without a robin watching you, and I sometimes wonder why Western culture assumes they are cheerful.  Ours verge on the Hitchcockian.

The nest was entirely obvious, a messy pile of fine twigs and mossy stuff in a black plastic flowerpot.  A second, disintegrating pile of untidy vegetation suggested that the robins had discarded their first attempt and were going with the Mark II version.  I hastily shut the door, and resigned myself to tidying away the pots another day.

I do need to go into the pot shed from time to time.  Clearing the pots off the concrete can wait a couple of weeks, but I'm reluctant for the robins to take all my other pots hostage, plus a bag of 6X and new and unopened bale of sawdust I bought for the henhouse.  The next time I went into the pot shed it was to retrieve the herb pots, and glancing at the nest while trying not to appear as if I was looking I saw the robin safely in it, regarding me beadily.  I think we can reach a modus vivendi whereby I only open one of the double doors, not the one on the side of the shed where the nest is, and only to get really necessary things out.

From the robin's point of view it's a pretty good nest site, cat proof, pretty much magpie proof since they don't go poking around in the sheds, dry, not going to heat up too much on hot days.  It is a lot better than my greenhouse, where they nested for two years running and I had to try not to water them while worrying that they would cook when the sun came out.  Last year they used the Systems Administrator's workshop, and the babies nearly got squashed at the point when they left the nest and were wandering about on foot, as young robins do for a day or two before they start to fly.

Addendum  Our Ginger caught a young rabbit this morning.  I missed it, but the SA tells me that Our Ginger was very insistent that he must be allowed to bring it into the house, and then growled at the SA when the SA tried to take it from him.  Not wanting to discourage Our Ginger from rabbiting, the SA left him with it in front of the television, where Our Ginger simply sat looking at his trophy.  It turned out he didn't want to eat it, but had worked up an appetite for a little snackerel out of a tin.

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