So to continue from my recent post about the starlings in my road, may I introduce our next individual.
This fearless ball of feathers can normally be heard most of the year round.
But come January the showing off starts. My current robin redbreast has inflated himself to the size a tennis ball and is rampaging from wooden post to branch, telling everyone this is his garden. His bright red chest breaking up any happy gathering of sparrows or blue tits.
He’s not quite worked out the new streetlight we have either and can be heard singing at midnight on a late night sing off with another street robin. I’m not sure that’s any good burning the candle at both ends.
Don’t cramp the robin’s style, that little bird is a born show off.
I’m dedicating January to the birds that come to my garden. I have no exotic varieties, just your average Joes of the bird world but to me they are wonderful and they think I’m great right now as I’ve hung three brand new feeders from my studio in an attempt to encourage more into my little urban garden.
My house is part of a Victorian terrace built by the miners and their families 150 years ago. A descendent lives a few doors up and says that they were built to house the families who kept chickens and grew their food here.
Fast forward a century or so and the city has grown around these houses and the mines have gone. But the wildlife is still here, hanging on and adapting to the pace of life and the endless rain.
Today’s post is in salute to the starlings that frequent my garden. Sleek and noisy little birds. Starlings are wonderful mimics of sound. They will copy what they hear and repeat it back with relish. Well you can imagine that Swansea is a feast for these little flocks of sound machines. From car alarms, mopeds to mobile phones it is never ever quiet around here and these little birds congregate on the telephone lines in the winter and belt out their whistle and chirps.
In deepest January they are most welcome to strip my feeders, tease my chickens and entertain me in my studio to a Swansea mega mix of noise. Demolishing fat balls within ten minutes and then entertaining me with their sound effects.
One summer morning you could hear the noise of a single alarm clock coming from an open window, within seconds, the voices of twenty alarm clocks were ringing out over the rooftops and telephone wires.
…and the chickens, the ducks, rabbits, geese, ponies, and fish….we fed them all!