Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Stalker ....

This robin, sitting on the door of the byre, was one of two contesting ownership of the farmyard at Beamish Museum when we visited on Friday. 

We've also got a resident robin in our garden now, that's already getting bolder every day, swooping down to pick up tit-bits when we're digging the vegetable plot. Over the years I've hand-tamed quite a few robins and I'm toying with the idea of doing it again, although my recollections of the last one are making me hesitate.

It was a push-over to tame. All it needed was the lure of a mealworm and within a day it was taking them from under my feet, within two days it was taking them from my fingers and on the third day it was perching on my hand.

Throughout the whole winter it followed me everywhere in the garden. As soon as I went out of the back door I had a stalker .....

..... that let loose a burst of song if I was too slow in delivering mealworms.

It was still there in spring, getting in the way of seed sowing and potting activities inside the greenhouse ....

.... and whenever I looked up, there it was, waiting and expectant....

...... and then it found a mate, nested (in a neighbour's garden, not ours, which was a bit ungrateful, we thought) and soon we found we were feeding a family. For several months I was the best customer in our local fishing bait shop. I must have spent a small fortune on mealworms and I have more robin photographs than I know what to do with. 

Will I tame the latest arrival? Well, with robins you have to ask who is taming whom? In truth, the last robin tamed us, inveigling us into performing tricks like foraging for it, providing food on demand and supporting its family...... and the latest arrival will probably do the same. Resistance is futile.


  1. A lovely companion to have in the garden - as long as you know the risks!

    I am catching up slowly but surely, having been off air for a while; a holiday was involved so it wasn't all bad news.

  2. No contest Phil! Get yourself down to the bait shop!! Great images, by the way!

  3. The robin thinks you're a wild boar. Post symbiotic confusion.

  4. Dear All, Looks like I'm going to be the top customer for mealworms this winter...........