Wee visitor was whistling away, full of the joys of spring


After a couple of weeks of dry and often sunny weather, it was time at the weekend to brush the cobwebs from my rake and fork and make a start to tidying the garden.

I like to do it when the bulbs are just appearing, so I know where they are and avoid digging them out by mistake or damaging them.

The aconites were past their peak, but the snowdrops and a small clump of spring snowflakes were at their delicate best.

As I raked away the accumulated moss and dead vegetation, I was aware of a hushed bird song, which was obviously very close, but given off at almost a whisper.

I stopped for a minute and scanned the area in which I was working until I spotted the culprit.

It was a robin. As it hopped across the disturbed ground, I could see its tiny throat rippling as it emitted its almost inaudible melody.

I knew that robins had both a summer song and a different winter song, but this was something different again.

It wasn’t nearly loud enough to be picked up by any other encroaching robins and I’m sure it wasn’t just singing for my benefit.

Perhaps it was just full of the joys of spring and whistling to itself as we do when engaged in a pleasant pastime and are feeling good.

It was my constant companion all afternoon and even landed on the tines of my fork as I was using it.

No matter what I’m doing outside, I usually have my camera to hand and this occasion was no exception.

It paid off, as my little chum provided me with one of those iconic robin images as it perched on my lawn edger to get a better view of proceedings.

Last Friday was the first night for the weekly garden moth survey which I usually take part in, so I had to clean out my light trap and get it set up in readiness for the big occasion.

With little on the wing during the winter months, I don’t usually take part in the winter survey, so it was October since I had last seen a moth.

As it turned out, I still haven’t seen one as the night was clear and frosty and consequently the trap was empty.

As with everything else at this time of year, it is all about anticipation.